For Leani García Torres, none of the boxes really fit.
In 2010, she answered U.S. census questions for the first time on her own as an adult. Is she of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? That was easy. She marked, "Yes, Puerto Rican."
But then came the stumper: What is her race?
"Whenever that question is posed, it does raise a little bit of anxiety," García Torres explains. "I actually remember calling my dad and saying, 'What race are you putting? I don't know what to put.' "
The categories the once-a-decade head count uses — "White," "Black" and "American Indian or Alaska Native," plus those for Asian and Pacific Islander groups — have never resonated with her.