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Social Welfare 252: Census and Race/Latinx


Race Matters

Child Poverty Down – Income of Families with Children Up: First Annual Decline in Child Poverty Since 2000*

"This is the first statistically significant year-to-year decline in child poverty since 2000." But further down the report it becomes clear that this good news didn't hold for ALL children --**"Child poverty rates fell for non-Hispanic whites, Asians and Hispanics between 2012 and 2013. The poverty rates for black children did not change between 2012 and 2013."**

Census and Race and Ethnicity

Census definitions of race have changed over time, reflecting the anxieties and concerns of the time, but currently use the following categories for race and ethnicity:

White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.


In addition to the five race categories, there are two for ethnicity Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino.

More Than One Race

Starting with Census 2000, individuals may identify as one race, or more than one race. People who identify as one race are referred to as the race + alone. For example "Black or African American alone" does not include people who identify as Black and Native American.

Marian Wright Edelman

Ending Child Poverty Now, new report by CDF.

Hispanic/Latino Ethnicity

For the Census -- and many, many federal programs -- Hispanic/Latinx is NOT a race -- Hispanics/Latinx can be of any race. The Census asks each person whether or not s/he is Hispanic/Latino, defined as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. (Note: People from Brazil are not included as Hispanic).

Latinos Can Be Any Race

Some Other Race

Some Other Race (a relatively new category) was supposed to capture a relatively small number of people. However, in 2010 almost 1/3 of the 47.1 million Hispanics chose this category as their race. Since almost 97% of Some Other Race are also Hispanic, take care in creating tables by Race + Hispanic + Some Other Race. Other people who choose this race are from the Middle East, or others who identify as neither white nor black (brown, perhaps?)

What's Missing From This Picture? (aka Don't Let This Happen To You!)