The routine use in medical research of an ostensibly homogeneous white'' category in ethnic group classifcations has meant that white minorities, such as the Irish, Turks and Cypriots, have remained hidden, even though such groups are subject to discrimination and disadvantage common to other minority groups. The terms white'' and Caucasian'' are frequently and increasingly employed in the scientific literature in spite of widespread concern about the medicalization of race. Moreover, in Great Britain ethnic monitoring of hospital inpatients has revealed negligible interest in utilising codes that subdivide the white group. Yet recent research has shown, for example, substantially elevated age standardised limiting long-term illness rates in the first generation Irish and excess mortality in the second generation living in Britain. The health needs of these white minorities can only properly be identifed through the availability of census denominator data of the kind now collected in the U.S. and Canadian decennial census questions on ethnic origin. The opportunity for government to make such provision in the forthcoming Great Britain 2001 Census should be seized whilst it is still available and recommendations for subdividing the white'' group are made.