Next Census in France May Track Race, Ethnicity and Religion
April 14, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
In an effort to better track its own demographic shifts and combat racial discrimination, France will consider conducting a national census that will account for race and ethnicity for the first time.
In France, unlike the U.S. and the U.K., it is illegal for the government to classify people by race, ethnicity, and religion, though it does make distinctions among native and foreign-born French citizens and noncitizen foreigners.
Yazid Sabeg, a close advisor to French President Nicholas Sarkozy, is leading an effort to change that policy. Sabeg recently told the BBC that data collection on minorities in France is "essential to measure how effective are official policies combating discrimination."