WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government has announced a new series of racial definitions for Americans, for use in the next Census and other federal programs.

The new categories allow people to choose as many as apply, instead of being limited to just one of the four current categories of ``black,'' ``white,'' ``American Indian or Alaska Native'' or ``Asian or Pacific Islander.''

The new categories are:

_American Indian or Alaska Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America, including Central America, and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.

_Asian. A person having origin in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand and Vietnam.

_Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as Haitian or Negro can be used in addition to Black or African American.

_Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands.

_White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa.

In addition, the separate ethnic category of Hispanic will now be known as ``Hispanic or Latino.'' It covers people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South American, Central American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.