U.S. Department of Commerce

Hispanic Origin

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does the U.S. Census Bureau produce by race and Hispanic origin?
  2. Do you have data on Hispanic subgroups other than Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban?

What does the U.S. Census Bureau produce by race and Hispanic origin?  back to top

U.S. federal government agencies must adhere to standards issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in October 1997, which specify that race and Hispanic origin (also known as ethnicity) are two separate and distinct concepts. These standards generally reflect a social definition of race and ethnicity recognized in this country, and they do not conform to any biological, anthropological, or genetic criteria. The standards include five minimum categories for data on race: "American Indian or Alaska Native," "Asian," "Black or African American," "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander," and "White." There are two minimum categories for data on ethnicity: "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino." The concept of race reflects self-identification by people according to the race or races with which they most closely identify. Persons who report themselves as Hispanic can be of any race and are identified as such in our data tables. The following sources provide data on race and Hispanic origin population:

  • Population estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin are produced annually for the U.S., states, and counties. Historical data are also provided in the Archive Files. Population projections out to 2050 are provided by race and Hispanic origin for the nation.
  • The Current Population Survey (CPS) provides national level data on the social, economic, and demographic characteristics of selected race groups, both current and past. Tables on the Hispanic population in the U.S. are also available, both current and past.
  • The American Community Survey (ACS) provides sample data from the 1-year or 3-year estimates based on population size. Selected Population Profiles enable you to select characteristics by Race or Ethnic Groups (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc.) and by Country of Birth.
  • Data on race and the Hispanic population from the 2010, 2000, and 1990 decennial censuses also are available. Data can be accessed for the 2010 and 2000 censuses using American FactFinder.
  • The 2010 Census brief Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin [PDF] describes these concepts and also provides how the race categories used in the 2010 Census were defined on page 2.

Do you have data on Hispanic subgroups other than Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban?  back to top

The American Community Survey (ACS) has data on these groups. In the survey questionnaire, the Hispanic-origin question had a line which was used to obtain write-in responses of Hispanic subgroups other than the major groups of Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Ricans. Persons with other Hispanic origins (e.g.,Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, Argentinean) were able to write in their specific origin group. The Census Bureau's code list contains over 30 Hispanic or Latino subgroups.

You can access the American Community Survey 1-year estimates for a population of 65,000 or more and the 3-year estimates for a population of 20,000 or more in the American Factfinder. Data on these groups are available in the Detailed Tables, the Subject Tables, and the Selected Population Profiles.

This is the same approach we use in the decennial census. For the 2010 Census, Summary File 2 [PDF - 4.46M] allows users to access any table in the files for a particular Hispanic subgroup, provided the group meets certain population criteria for the geographic area under consideration. At present, census data provide information on geographic areas smaller than those reported in the ACS.

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. [MSWord] or the letters [doc] indicate a document is in the Microsoft® Word Format (DOC). To view the file, you will need the Microsoft® Word Viewer Off Site available for free from Microsoft®.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Hispanic Origin |  Last Revised: 2013-04-12T15:48:48.264-04:00