Race and Ethnicity


The raw HMDA data has many fields for Race and Ethnicity and Sex. Each applicant (and each co-applicant) can have up to 5 values for Race, up to 5 values for Ethnicity, and a single value for Sex - a total of 22 fields across both applicant and co-applicant. Of these, in HMDAVision(R) we include the following fields (note: we could add all 22 if we receive customer interest in this):

  • Race 1 of Applicant

  • Ethnicity 1 of Applicant

  • Sex of Applicant

Starting in 2018, the CFPB added derived fields which consolidate these multiple fields for applicant and co-applicant, and we include these in HMDAVision(R) as well:

  • Race (formerly called Race Derived (HMDA)): a distillation of the 10 race fields into a single field (see the CFPB logic for this field here)

  • Ethnicity (formerly called Ethnicity Derived (HMDA)): a distillation of the 10 ethnicity fields into a single field (see the CFPB logic for this field here)

  • Sex (formerly called Sex Derived (HMDA)): a distillation of the 2 sex fields into a single field (see the CFPB logic for this field here)

Building on the derived fields, Polygon Research has added 2 consolidated fields that consider the derived Race and Ethnicity fields together:

  • Minority (formerly called Minority (HMDA)): this field has the value “Minority” when Race has a minority value or Ethnicity has a minority value.

    • This is a Polygon-derived field, based on CFPB-derived fields. It is looking at the question of minority status across all 10 of the race fields and all 10 of the ethnicity fields in the HMDA data.

    • It is important to understand the components of the 3 values in this field:

      • Minority includes all minority race and ethnicity values as well as Joint race and Joint ethnicity (as defined by the CFPB, Joint means that one applicant is a minority and the other one is not).

      • Non-Minority includes “Not Hispanic or Latino” white applicants, including when this is true for one applicant, and the other is NA (see note below on NA).

      • NA includes both “Information not provided” and “Not applicable”; we list NA in Minority Detail when both Race and Ethnicity are NA.

    • Note that the total Minority count via this field will be a little lower than the sum of the same from its constituent Race and Ethnicity fields, as some people hold minority status from race and ethnicity at the same time.

Minority is now a drill-down: clicking on the Minority value will automatically drill down to the Minority Detail values.

  • Minority Detail: this field provides insight into the components of the Minority field.

    • Like Minority, this is a Polygon-derived field.

    • See all the comments above for the Minority field.

    • Since this field is an intersection of the derived Race and Ethnicity fields, we had to decide how to handle applicants who hold minority status from both race and ethnicity. We decided that the clearest way to do this was to keep the Hispanic/Latino categories - “Hispanic or Latino” and “Joint Ethnicity” - the same as they are in the underlying Ethnicity field, and then add in the minority race values. This means that the minority race counts are potentially a little bit lower here than they are in the underlying Race field - i.e. these are the non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic Asian, etc. values. If you have a preference to see this field constructed differently, we welcome your feedback.

Please contact Polygon Research Customer Support with questions or requests for more details.


(1) See also the CFPB publication: Introducing New and Revised Data Points in HMDA, published August 30, 2019.

Census ACS

Documentation on the Census ACS fields will be added soon.