Latinos May Be Reclassified on Census Forms


Latinos and Hispanics may their get own race category on U.S. census forms under proposed changes by the Census Bureau.
Latino and Hispanic would be added to the list of government-defined races, rather than being listed separately as an ethnicity. In the 2010 census, more than a third of respondents checked “some other race” or skipped the question entirely. The possible changes affecting Latinos is expected to cause debate, according to a recent article in the Seattle Times.
Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race, which means although those in the population share a common language, culture and heritage, they can be of any race, the article states.
The census has had the separate ethnic question since the 1970s, asking respondents to indicate if they are Spanish, Hispanic or Latino and then giving them the option of noting their country of origin. It then prompts an answer to the question on race.
While in the 2010 census a majority chose white, some 18 million checked the  “some other race” category.
Under the proposed changes, the two questions would be combined, allowing respondents to check a single box.
Latino advocates generally support the idea, but it has been met with mixed reaction, with one concern being whether it could lead to a decline in the number of people who identify as Latinos.
While government definitions of race groups are set by the White House Office of Management and Budget, any changes to the census form ultimately must be approved by Congress, according to the article.
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