Until now, Hispanic identification has been a separate ethnicity question. Those who check off that box are asked to identify what race they are among five — white, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific island.
But a growing number of people don’t identify with any of the race categories, and 6.2 percent chose “some other race” in 2010. Hispanics accounted for more than 18.5 million of the 19 million people who checked “some other race” to describe themselves.
The Census Bureau has been conducting tests and is now considering combining race and ethnicity questions. “Many researchers very much believe that Hispanic is not a race and must remain a separate ethnicity because they believe Hispanics are of many races,” said Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant to the Leadership Conference and author of “Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multiethnic America,” a report released Monday.
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