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Working Paper Number POP-WP102
Merarys Ríos, Fabián Romero and Roberto Ramírez
Component ID: #ti1484387840

Introduction

Since the release of the 2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment (AQE) report in August 2012, much has been written about the AQE results (Compton et al., 2012; Hill and Bentley, 2013; Stokes et al., 2012). Several recommendations were made based on the AQE findings; one of which was to further test a combined race and Hispanic origin question. Recently, numerous articles and blogs supporting or arguing against the use of combined or separate race and ethnicity questions have made national headlines (El Nasser, 2013); particularly, about the Census Bureau’s recommendation to continue testing a combined question during the 2020 Census testing cycle (Compton et al., 2012). One concern, largely stemming from the Latino community, is the potential negative impact on race reporting among the Hispanic or Latino population (e.g., the undercounting of ‘Afro-Latinos’) if a new combined question is approved for the 2020 Census. In response to these concerns, the Census Bureau developed supplemental analysis from the AQE, specifically examining differences in race distributions by Hispanic origin when alternative questions were tested (Hill and Bentley, 2013). The results from this study are discussed later in this paper.

The Census Bureau is committed to improving the validity and reliability of census data, and over the last few decades, many census studies have examined race reporting among Hispanics (Stokes et al., 2012; Ennis et al., 2011; Martin, 2002; U.S. Census Bureau, 1996 and 1997). However, none examined race reporting among self-reported Hispanics in the decennial census. In this analysis, self-reported Hispanics are defined as those whose origin was not imputed.

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