In the course of the thread it has become apparent that ethnicity is not as important to Europeans as it is to Americans.
I don't think that was ever a secret.
I'd have to think hard to remember an example of an official government form where they did not ask about ethnicity. Not that I saw all government forms in the US, but in all of 8 years I'm pretty sure I had to relevant boxes.
One of the first times I had to do it was actually kinda hilarious, though what I did was done in good faith. I went to a DMV office in NYC to register a car. The form asked "Are you a visible minority". I'm Polish, therefore I am a minority so I checked the box. The nice lady (of African descend) looked at me angrily and told me I was not a visible minority.
I explained my rationale: I am Polish (therefore a minority) and you can surely see me, so how am I not a visible minority?
Well, it didn't work so I guess I am an invisible minority.