Latino or Hispanic? US Mulls Changes to Ethnic Definitions Ahead of 2030 Census

The Biden proposed in February that each citizen can define their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino ahead of the next census

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April 06, 2023 | 02:55 PM

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Bloomberg Línea — As it prepares for the next census in 2030, the US government is proposing the implementation of and distinction between the Latino and Hispanic categories of race and ethnicity, but many Latinos in the country are not comfortable with such designation.

According to new data from the United States Census Bureau, the non-response rate to the race question for the Hispanic population went from 13% in 2010 to 8.1% in 2020.

Similarly, other relevant data were extracted that hint that the Latino or Hispanic category does not represent Latino citizens when discussing race.

Sixty-percent of the 54.6 million Americans who identified as Hispanic in the 2020 census reported belonging to a racial group, such as white or black; more than one-third (35.5%) of Latinos chose only “some other race.” This category is not currently recognized as a race by the federal government.


Also, a combined 43.6% of Americans who self-identify as Hispanics reported being of “some other race”.

Today, the Census considers race and ethnicity as two distinct categories, as Americans are asked about them on Census forms in two separate questions. But a growing number of Latinos who are multiracial or of mixed background “see their Hispanic identity as part of their racial identity,” Jens Manuel Krogstad, a writer and senior editor at the Pew Research Center, told NBC News.

2030 Census

In early February, President Joe Biden’s administration proposed that every person should be able to define their race as Hispanic or Latino, as well as their ethnicity.


To carry out this process, the Office of Management and Budget is open to public comment on combining race and ethnicity questions in census and government data collection.

Below is an example of a census form, combining ethnicity and race.

Source: Office of Management and Budgetdfd

In addition, it proposes to annex the category “Middle East” or “North Africa”, abbreviated as MENA, for people of that origin. These are currently included in the white category, something the government opposes.

Evidence suggests that the current two-part question confuses many people who see race and ethnicity as synoymous.

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