Modern Diversity May Prompt US Census Bureau to Seek Better Classification of Hispanics’ Race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-11 00:33Z by Steven

Modern Diversity May Prompt US Census Bureau to Seek Better Classification of Hispanics’ Race

Latin Post

Nicole Akoukou Thompson

Modernizing data and research methods, as well as offering clear depictions of diversity in the nation’s population, are prominent objectives of the United States Census Bureau. However, the government agency has often missed its mark.

The U.S. population continues to diversify. As the number of non-whites increases, there’s been a growing demand for the bureau to better and more accurately catalog those living in the U.S., as the current process doesn’t allow individuals to self-identify in a way that makes sense for them and their heritage. But the upcoming 2020 census promises to offer more accuracy.

The Hispanic origin question (identify ethnicity and complete questions about race) has evolved. Each decade the organization looks to more appropriately sort and label the budding Hispanic demographic.

“White, black and ‘some other race'” are selections presented after identifying one’s ethnicity as Hispanic. But most Hispanics believe that the delineated racial categories don’t represent their identities, while others believe that each category represents them…

…Regarding race, 47.7 percent of Hispanics reported “white” as their race, compared to 2.1 percent reporting “black,” despite statistics on the African diaspora, which would suggest much higher numbers, particularly among those hailing from Brazil, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama or Ecuador. That said, many are unlikely to identify as black; instead they may honor a myriad of other terms regarding mixed-race and African ancestry, including moreno, afrodescendiente, pardo, mulato and zambo

…”It’s not that the people are confused; it’s that the question is inexact,” said Hector R. Cordero-Guzman, a professor at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, of the decision by many Latinos to choose “some other race” or no race at all. “If you are asking somebody simply what their skin color is — that’s how some people understand the question. Some people say they are asking me about my ancestry. Others think they are asking me about how I’m treated when I go outside.“…

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To Measure More Diverse America, Solution May Be in Census Questions

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-02 01:21Z by Steven

To Measure More Diverse America, Solution May Be in Census Questions

The New York Times

Tanzina Vega

When Alexa Aviles received her census form in 2010, she was frustrated by the choices. Like all Hispanics, Ms. Aviles, a Puerto Rican who lives in Brooklyn, was first asked to identify her ethnicity and then to answer a question about her race. Ms. Aviles, 41, who works for a nonprofit, thought, “I’m all of these!” In annoyance, she checked Hispanic, and then identified herself as white, black and “some other race.”

Mustafa Asmar, a Palestinian-American waiter in Paterson, N.J., does not like his options either. Arab-Americans are broadly classified as white in the census. “When you fill out white or other, it doesn’t really represent the Middle Eastern population,” said Mr. Asmar, 25. “I don’t feel like I’m white. I don’t know what else to put.”

As the United States becomes more diverse, the Census Bureau is grappling with how to accurately classify race and ethnicity in its next decennial count in 2020. It is an issue that plays out in divergent ways for different groups. Many Hispanics, like Ms. Aviles, are frustrated that they are prompted to select from racial categories that they believe do not represent their identity.

Many Arabs have the opposite concern: They are not asked a separate ethnicity question and are typically categorized as white, a label that many feel does not apply…

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