That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-11 16:44Z by Steven

That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau. The ACS collected and classified race in the same way that the 2010 census had throughout the prior decade. The last of the 2019 ACS data were gathered just a few months before the census, and the reported results showed that the percentage of Latinos categorized as single-race white was unchanged since the ACS survey of 2011.

Morris Levy, Richard Alba, and Dowell Myers, “The Truth About White America,” The Atlantic, October 25, 2021.

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The Truth About White America

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-27 16:09Z by Steven

The Truth About White America

The Atlantic

Morris Levy, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations
University of Southern California

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dowell Myers, Professor of Policy, Planning, and Demography
University of Southern California

The Atlantic

The Census Bureau wanted to gather data about a changing nation, but ended up reinforcing old racial categories.

If you paid attention to the news this summer about the release of 2020 census data, you probably heard that America’s white population is in free fall. Big, if true.

The statistic that launched a thousand hot takes and breathless voice-overs about racial change was a supposed 8.6 percent, or 19 million, drop in the number of white Americans since 2010. Headlines cast this decline as unprecedented in census history and signaled that the nation’s majority-minority future loomed even closer than previously forecast. Pundits spun it as a harbinger of policy change and partisan realignment, for better or worse. Some wisely cautioned against demography-as-destiny assumptions in a country where the definition and public understanding of race can change rapidly. But few observers questioned whether the reported differences between the 2010 and 2020 censuses reflected real demographic change or simply statistical noise.

Commentators should have read the fine print before rushing to trot out their favorite narratives. If they had, they would have discovered that the eye-popping figure at the center of this summer’s hoopla is an illusion. The apparent decline in the white population is a result of changes to the Census Bureau’s protocol for measuring and classifying racial identity. The changes aimed to more accurately gauge the expansion of the country’s mixed-race population through new and more sophisticated data collection and classification techniques that capture the nuances of Americans’ multifaceted racial and ethnic identities. But a combination of bureaucratic constraints and messaging failures paved the way to public confusion…

Read the entire article here.

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The demise of the white majority is a myth

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-05-19 16:54Z by Steven

The demise of the white majority is a myth

The Washington Post

Dowell Myers, Professor
Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California

Morris Levy, Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of Southern California

Meghan Markle, engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry, with her mother, Doria Ragland. (Steve Parsons/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

The tale of the coming white minority has roiled American politics. A recent political science study shows that white anxiety over lost status tipped the last election to Donald Trump, and Democratic Party leaders are banking on changing demography for a brighter destiny.

But rumors of white America’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. That’s because the prevailing definition of whiteness is stubbornly stuck in the past.

It was 2000 when the Census Bureau first projected an end to the white majority of the population in 2059. Four years later, it revised that date to 2050. Then in 2008, it told the public that the passing of the white majority would occur in 2042. At this abrupt rate of change, some anxious whites might see displacement as an imminent threat.

In fact, the Census Bureau projects no fewer than six futures for the white population based on various definitions of whiteness. The most touted set of projections adopts the most exclusive definition, restricting the white population to those who self-identify as white and also no other race or ethnicity. Under this definition, whites are indeed in numerical decline.

But this doesn’t reflect the increasingly fluid and inclusive way that many Americans now regard racial and ethnic backgrounds. Mixed-race parentage is growing more common, and a rapidly growing number of people choose more than one racial or ethnic category to describe themselves on the census…

Read the entire article here.

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Neighborhood Segregation in Single-Race and Multirace America: A Census 2000 Study of Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Posted in Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Reports, United States on 2010-06-28 01:26Z by Steven

Neighborhood Segregation in Single-Race and Multirace America: A Census 2000 Study of Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Fannie Mae Foundation
45 pages

William H. Frey
University of Michigan and the Milken Institute

Dowell Myers
University of Southern California

This report accompanies the release of detailed racial segregation indices for 1,246 individual U.S. cities with populations exceeding 25,000 and for the 318 U.S. metropolitan areas. These data can be accessed from the World Wide Web at This study extends earlier work on racial segregation from Census 2000 in the following respects:

  • It examines segregation patterns for persons who identify themselves as one race alone as distinct from those who identify themselves as two or more races, which is possible for the first time in Census 2000.
  • Its focus on large and small cities as well as metropolitan areas provides a comprehensive assessment of segregation variation across local areas and broader metropolitan regions.
  • Segregation and exposure measures in this study are based on the block group unit (average population 1,100), which more closely approximates a neighborhood community area than the census tract unit (average population 5,000) used in other studies. This more refined block group–based segregation measure permits the detection of segregation patterns for small racial groups or in small areas that are camouflaged when tract-based segregation measures are used.

The opportunity to look at segregation for single-race and multirace groups with Census 2000 provides an important means of assessing the prospects of future integration in a multirace society where intermarriage and interrace identification are on the rise. Our analysis of singlerace and multirace segregation shows that:

  • Persons who identify themselves as “white and black” live, on average, in neighborhoods that more closely approximate the racial composition of the average white person’s neighborhood, rather than that of the average black person’s neighborhood. For the combined metropolitan population of the United States, the average neighborhood of a “white and black” resident is 61 percent white and 19 percent black. The average neighborhood of someone who identifies as black alone is 29 percent white and 54 percent black, and the average neighborhood of someone who identifies as white alone is 81 percent white and 6 percent black.
  • Among the cities and metropolitan areas in our study, persons identifying with two or more races showed, on average, less segregation from whites than did minority persons identifying with a single race.

Our analysis of cities with more than 25,000 population shows the wide variation in segregation levels for each race and ethnic group. For most race groups, the highest levels of segregation tend to occur in the nation’s largest cities. For example, the City of New York ranks in the top six of all cities for each minority group’s segregation from whites. It ranks third in segregation for blacks, fifth for Hispanics, first for American Indians, first for Hawaiians, and sixth for those who identify themselves as two or more races. Hence, studies that focus only on segregation in large cities or in cities that have the largest minority populations overstate the level of racial segregation that exits in most cities with a minority presence. Other findings are:

  • Among cities with more than 100,000 population, white-black segregation ranges from an index of dissimilarity of 21 (Chandler, AZ) to 87 (Chicago, IL); Asian segregation from whites ranges from 15 (Coral Springs, FL) to 66 (New Orleans, LA); and Hispanic segregation from whites ranges from 17 (Hialeah, FL) to 71 (Oakland, CA).
  • The lowest segregation from whites for each race group tends to be associated with cities with less than 100,000 population, located in the suburbs, and, largely, in California, Texas, and other “multiethnic” states in the Sunbelt. Lowest city segregation indices for each race are in: The Colony, TX (white-black index of 8); Morgan Hill, CA (white-Asian segregation index of 9); Copperas Cove, TX (white-Hispanic segregation index of 8); Moore, OK (white–American Indian index of 12); Carson, CA (white-Hawaiian index of 25); and Cerritos, CA (white–multiple race index of 7).

City segregation indices differ from metropolitan segregation indices because the former reflect local patterns that can vary within the same metropolitan unit. Our analyses of dissimilarity of both levels indicate that:

  • On average, segregation levels are higher for metropolitan areas than for cities. Among the cities in our study, the average segregation levels for blacks, Asians, and Hispanics are indices of 45, 32, and 35 respectively. Average segregation levels among metropolitan areas for these three groups are indices of 59, 45, and 43, respectively.
  • Among smaller racial categories, Hawaiians show the highest average segregation levels, with an index of 53 for cities and 61 for metropolitan areas. Persons identifying themselves as two or more races show the lowest average segregation levels: an index of 27 for cities and 33 for metropolitan areas. American Indian segregation levels lie inbetween, with an average index of 39 for cities and 43 for metropolitan areas.
  • Different cities within the same metropolitan area can have quite different segregation measures. For example, although the Detroit primary metropolitan statistical area ranks second among all areas on white-black metropolitan segregation (index of 87), the city of Detroit ranks 55th, with an index of 63, among cities of more than 100,000 population. On the other hand, metropolitan Atlanta ranks 53rd in white-black segregation with a metropolitan wide dissimilarity index of 69, whereas the city of Atlanta ranks fourth in segregation, with an index of 83, among cities of more than 100,000 population. This shows that the metropolitan segregation index does not easily translate into segregation levels of large or small cities within the metropolitan area.

Finally, our use of the block group as a proxy for neighborhood in this segregation study provides a more refined measure that reveals segregation across smaller neighborhoods, rather than the larger census tract measures that have been used in some earlier studies. Block group–based segregation tends to be greater in smaller cities and metropolitan areas or where the minority population is small.

  • On average, the white-black dissimilarity index is 5.8 points higher when block groups, rather than tracts, are used to measure segregation. The disparity is greatest in smaller metropolitan areas. For example, in metropolitan Reno, NV, white-black segregation measured on the basis of block groups has an index of 44, whereas the counterpart segregation index measured on the basis of census tracts is only 34.
  • Indices of neighborhood exposure to other races are also affected by the choice of block group or tract as the neighborhood measure. For example, in metropolitan Jamestown, NY, the average black person lives in a neighborhood that is 69 percent white when the neighborhood is measured on the basis of block groups. However, that percentage rises to 81 percent white if the larger census tract is considered to be the neighborhood..

Read the entire paper here.

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