5.1. Hispanic origin questions.
The influx of refugees from Cuba beginning in the early 1960s, as well as subsequent changes in U.S. immigration law in 1965, substantially changed the composition of the U.S. foreign-born population.  In the late 1960s, it became apparent to demographers reviewing administrative data, such as vital statistics and immigration data, that the volume of residents with a non-European background had shifted dramatically. After examining their findings, OMB advised the Census Bureau to use the CPS to pilot test a subjective origin or "descent" question designed to measure the ethnic composition of the U.S. household population (Question examples in Appendix A).  To obtain a basis for comparing the validity of the “Origin” question, the CPS also asked questions about demographic characteristics known to be highly correlated with ethnic identity such as birthplace, parental birthplace, and language.
After the initial attempt to identify and measure the ethnic composition of the population using the November 1969 CPS, the Census Bureau decided to add a specific "Spanish origin" or "Descent" question to the 1970 decennial census questionnaire (Appendix A). As a result, the 1970 Census provided Spanish/Hispanic population data from several sources including : (1) a language question; (2) an origin or descent question; (3) Spanish surnames from a surname code list; (4) birthplace and (5) parental birthplace questions. 
Following the census of 1970, the Census Bureau continued to use the CPS origin/descent question fielded in 1969 to collect Spanish data, however, the birthplace questions were not included again in the CPS until 1994, when "place of birth" as well as "mother's place of birth" and "father's place of birth" questions were added to the core or basic CPS questionnaire. 
5.2. CPS Hispanic data changes since 2000.
5.2.1. The new Hispanic origin question
In January 2003, the CPS began to produce results from a set of new Hispanic origin questions added to the CPS in 2002 (Appendix A). Prior to this, CPS Hispanic data had been derived from the "origin or descent" question described above. That is, during the years 1971 to 2002, Hispanic data were not produced by a direct question about Hispanic ethnicity, but rather by combining selected responses to a more general ethnic question.  On the other hand, the new Hispanic question(s) specifically asks “Are you/Is....Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino?” Persons responding “yes” are then asked a subsequent question, “Are you/Is....Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Cuban-American, or some other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino group?” thus naming the groups identified in the old descent question. A probe question is used to elicit more specific information about people responding affirmatively to the “Other” category.  The interviewer asks the probe question using a flash card containing a listing of 42 possible responses (Appendix A).
The Hispanic detailed groups historically listed in CPS data products from the Census Bureau have included census categories in use since the 1970 Census (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, and Other Hispanic). (Census data in Table A, CPS detail in Table 1, see Figures 1 and 2). Beginning January 2003, the new Hispanic origin questions included in the CPS made the addition of more specific Hispanic categories in Census Bureau Current Population Reports feasible.
Table A. Detailed Hispanic Categories from the Census: 1970 to 1990
Source: Census Bureau (2002), Working Paper No. 56 (Gibson and Jung)
As a result, it is now possible to show the population totals as well as social and economic information for additional detailed Hispanic categories such as: "Dominican", "Salvadoran", "Other Central American", and South American" in CPS products (Table 2).
5.2.2. Results from Changes in Hispanic Question Wording tied to Nativity.
188.8.131.52 Natives more likely than foreign born to change reporting behavior.
A research file from the May 2002 CPS supplement, containing responses from the old "origin or descent" question along with responses to the new Hispanic origin question(s) for the same person, reveals that the new question elicits a greater response of Hispanic origin (37.3 million) than does the old question (35.5 million) while the reverse appears to be true for "Other Hispanic" which seems to be higher for the old question (2.4 million) than the new question (2.2 million). (Table 3-A.)
A more in-depth analysis of data from this matched file indicates that the increase in the number of Hispanic responses appears to be coming from the native population, about 22.8 million for the new question versus 21.0 million for the old question, for a difference of about two million compared with 14.6 million versus 14.5 million respectively for the foreign-born population.  ( Table 3-B and Table 3-C).
Although the questions seem to have produced no meaningful difference in the total number of Hispanics for the foreign-born, further investigation shows that the proportion of the foreign-born Hispanics who reported "Other Hispanic" in response to the old question declined from 4.3 percent to 1.9 percent in response to the new question. In comparison, native Hispanics reported more similar proportions (6.4 percent versus 5.9 percent).
The 2002 file also indicates that among the 2.2 million persons reporting "Other' Hispanic in response to the new CPS question, about 31.8 percent previously had reported "Not Hispanic" to the old CPS question. Most of the respondents (89.8 percent) who switched from "Not Hispanic" to "Other Hispanic" were native. In fact, 84.3 percent of the people who reported "Other Hispanic" to the new question were native.
184.108.40.206. Detailed Hispanic responses increased among the foreign born.
The new Hispanic question elicits a higher degree of reporting of specific Hispanic groups than does the "old" origin or descent question.  It also seems as though the new question format may have been more likely to increase detailed origin reporting among foreign-born Hispanics.
Given the shift described in Section 220.127.116.11 concerning the decrease in people reporting "Other Hispanic", evidence from the matched file also shows that the new Hispanic question(s) led more people to report a specific Hispanic origin group, than did the old origin question. Many of those reporting "Other Hispanic" in response to the old question, provided a more detailed response to the second of the new questions which allows the respondent 42 choices, several of which are non-Hispanic. For example, Table 3-A shows that among those who said they were "Dominican" in response to the new question 44.8 percent had provided the more general "Other Hispanic" response to the old question. This shift was more pronounced among the foreign born where 48.7 percent of the Dominicans in the new question had responded "Other Hispanic" to the old question (Table 3-B), compared with the natives, where only 38.4 percent of those identified as Dominican by the new question had responded "Other Hispanic" in the old question (Table 3-C).
The data in these tables support the conclusion that those who provided detail for the old question continued to provide detail for the new question, although consistency appears to be better for the foreign-born population. For example, the percent reporting Mexican origin consistently between the new and old questions was 96.1 percent for the foreign-born population and 90.1 percent for the native population. The corresponding percentages for Cubans were 91.7 percent and 81.5 percent, respectively. Puerto Ricans are not foreign born; so no comparison can be made along the nativity dimension, however, the consistency for all Puerto Ricans was 85.7 percent. 
18.104.22.168. Response validity and the new question.
Traditionally, statistical validity has referred to a measurement that is representative of, or an actual gauge for an observed phenomenon. By providing respondents greater choice, the new Hispanic origin question seems to improve the validity of responses by allowing interviewed subjects to better approximate their detailed Hispanic origin answers than did the old question. However, some caveats remain.
Table 4-A reveals that long-standing detailed Hispanic groups such as Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican show high consistency in reporting birthplace and detailed Hispanic origin. In 2003, among those born in Mexico, 98.5 percent say they are Mexican in response to the new Hispanic question. Comparable figures are 93.4 percent for those born in Cuba and 92.8 percent for those born in Puerto Rico. However, not all the newly identified groups display comparable levels of consistency between birthplace and detailed Hispanic response. For example, among those born in the Dominican Republic, 88.7 percent report Dominican, while in contrast, among those born in El Salvador, a figure of 62.4 percent emerges.  The relatively lower proportion of foreign-born from El Salvador responding as Salvadoran raises questions about the responses for this Hispanic category.
22.214.171.124. Rethinking Hispanic.
A number of people reported as Hispanic in the "Yes-No" question (first in the series of new Hispanic questions shown in Appendix A), but in a follow-up question, some of those reporting Hispanic also indicated they were Portuguese, Haitian, Brazilian, or of some other group not traditionally identified by the Office of Management and Budget as an Hispanic category. Using unedited data, about 180,000 people reported in this manner in 2003. In all these cases, the response to the “Yes-No” question was changed in the edit to “No.” Using edited data, there were also about 287,000 people in 2003 who provided responses not listed in the Hispanic code list for CPS, such as “Mestizo,” “Raza,” or “Mixed,” and were therefore coded as “Other Other.” (Table 5)
These responses raise the issue of self-concept. While it was possible that some of the CPS respondents misunderstood the question, because a Census Bureau field representative conducted the CPS interview and many of these interviewers spoke the respondents’ language, confusion about the questions should have been minimized compared with the mail-out, mail-back census form. Furthermore, our research shows respondents’ or respondents’ parental birthplace may have led them to believe the terms “Hispanic” and/or “Latino” applied to them. Table 5 shows that among the 287,000 “Other Other” Hispanics in 2003, about 158,000 (55 percent) were born in the United States and about 129,000 (45 percent) were born elsewhere (primarily in Spanish-speaking countries). For 2004, among the 306,000 “Other Other” Hispanics, about 200,000 (65 percent) were born in the United States and about 106,000 (35 percent) were born elsewhere (again, primarily in Spanish-speaking countries).
Additional research needs to be conducted to understand why respondents who indicated they were Hispanic to the “Yes-No” question and then gave an explicitly non-Hispanic group in the follow-up question. One possible suggestion is that this is the only way these respondents can report a mixed ancestry. We might want to look at parental birthplace to see if one or both parents were born in a Spanish-speaking country, thus allowing for the possibility that the respondent wanted to express a multiple response. Regarding the “Other Other,” we have no additional data from the CPS, even with the parental birthplace data, to determine that the respondent is Hispanic. Overall, however, the number of these responses represents a relatively small share of the Hispanic population.
5.3. CPS 2001 sample expansion.
Following Census 2000, the Census Bureau began testing an expanded CPS monthly or basic sample. The primary goal of the ASEC expansion is the production of more precise as well as reliable state estimates of low-income children without health insurance (State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP). In July 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) officially included the expanded sample in its labor force statistics.  The Census Bureau also increased the ASEC sample for minorities, and households with children living with a White householder.  The expanded ASEC sample in 2001 consisted of 78,000 interviewed households. Although the SCHIP sample expansion was specifically designed to improve state-based estimates of children’s health insurance status, other estimates have been improved as a result of the additional sample (Table 7 discussed below). 
5.4. The Census 2000 benchmark
We noted above, the Census Bureau uses independent demographic estimates to develop the CPS second stage weights and these demographic estimates are benchmarked to the last previous census. Table 1 shows the CPS Hispanic Origin totals as well as detailed groups series history, 1971 to 2004. Note that the CPS Hispanic origin estimates were benchmarked to censuses beginning in 1980 and again in 1990, and 2000 reflected in jumps in the plotted trend lines in Figure 1.
The 1990 census total shown earlier in Table A above represents the official census number. Demographic estimates used to develop second-stage weights benchmarked to 1990 were derived from a modified census base, sometimes called MARS for the “Modified Age-Race-Sex-Hispanic origin” distribution, where the category “Other” race has been proportionally distributed to four major race groups.  There was no immediate requirement for a fully developed MARS file for Census 2000.  Demographic estimates benchmarked to Census 2000 reflect change for five race groups: White; Black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Prior to 2000, the Asian and Pacific Islander groups were combined.
In 2001, the Census Bureau introduced a new set of demographic estimates benchmarked to Census 2000. These new estimates currently form the basis of the CPS controls or second stage weights as described above. For evaluative purposes, the Census Bureau retrofitted the April 2000 census-based weights to basic survey data from October 1999 forward.  Monthly or basic CPS data weighted to population controls benchmarked to Census 2000 and earlier censuses are shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2.  The introduction of the 2000 controls increased the stated value of the basic March 2000 Hispanic population from 32.6 million (weights based on estimates benchmarked to 1990) to 34.7 million (weights based on estimates benchmarked to 2000), for a difference of about 2.1 million.
The introduction of the 2000 controls also resulted in an increase of 2.2 million Hispanics in the 2001 ASEC, as shown in Table 7, columns 1-3. Furthermore, the application of the new population controls introduced small changes in some of the stated sizes and proportions of selected characteristic-based subgroups found in the ASEC, as well as some of statistics derived from those numbers, as can be seen in Table 7, columns 1-3. 
5.5 Summary: What has happened to CPS Hispanic data over time?
Table 1 and Figures 1 and 2 show the CPS Hispanic population estimates 1971 to 2004. The final column in Table 1 shows important milestones in the CPS series over the period, up to and including the switch to the new Hispanic origin question in 2002.  Although Table 1 shows the years when census data were collected, Figure 1 graphically illustrates when the effects of updated weights based on census-based estimates were applied each decade.  Although the jumps in 1983 and 1993 are noticeable, the trend line is relatively smooth.  This smoothness reflects the application of the annual updated census-based population weights during the years between censuses. In the early years of the survey, the CPS Hispanic numbers were much more volatile. The application of census-based weights to the CPS estimates led to “control” of radical annual and monthly fluctuations as well as more precise estimates of the total Hispanic population. 
On the other hand, Figure 2 shows a somewhat different picture. Because the detailed Hispanic group samples are smaller than the total Hispanic sample and they are not controlled to census-based weights, they are much more prone to sampling variability.  Owing to the fact that detailed census information is only collected every 10 years, the Census Bureau has not attempted to develop and apply detailed Hispanic group census-based controls to CPS.
Table 6 reveals the precision of Hispanic group categories was improved, which may allow analysts to examine various characteristics of these groups and consider adding new groups to the core list. Using reporting of Hispanic origin and associated birth place, we saw in Table 5 that those born in "Mexico" reported "Mexican" 98.5 percent of the time in 2003 and 98.9 percent in 2004; those born in "Cuba", reported "Cuban" 93.4 percent in 2003 and 95.7 percent in 2004; people born in "Puerto Rico" reported "Puerto Rican" 92.8 percent and 95.8 percent in 2003 and 2004, respectively. 
Table 2 revealed that each of the "old" groups (Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican) consistently exhibits a population in excess of 1 million people. Six-months of data from the CPS Basic survey also show that other groups such as Dominican, Central American and South American have also shown populations above one million in recent years. The category Salvadoran has not shown a population of one million consistently and as we noted above, people born in El Salvador do not identify themselves as Salvadoran with the same levels of consistency as some other groups.