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Now Available: 2020 Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) Results for the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Merarys Ríos-Vargas

Chief, Ethnicity and Ancestry Branch, Population Division


Merarys Ríos-Vargas is chief of the Population Division’s Ethnicity and Ancestry Branch at the U.S. Census Bureau. In this role, Ríos-Vargas leads research on the reporting patterns and demographic characteristics of the Hispanic population in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas and served as a subject matter expert to the 2020 Census team. In addition, she was a member of the Office of Management and Budget Interagency Working Group on Race and Ethnic Research, where she collaborated with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other federal agencies.

Ríos-Vargas began her career at the Census Bureau in 2006 as a survey statistician in the American Community Survey Office’s Education, Communication and Outreach Branch. In this position, she worked closely with the Public Information Office on outreach projects for the Puerto Rico Community Survey (PRCS), including helping to develop training materials and coordinate PRCS data users’ workshops and media events.

Throughout her career, Ríos-Vargas has conducted extensive outreach, presentations and workshops to various stakeholder groups. She has represented the Census Bureau in over 100 interviews as a commentator and subject matter expert on Voice of America, CNN, Telemundo, Univision and other international media outlets. Ríos-Vargas  has authored and co-authored numerous publications, including Race Reporting Among Hispanics: 2010; The Hispanic Population: 2010; The People Who Spoke a Language Other Than English at Home by Hispanic Origin and Race: 2009; and Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands: 2000.

Ríos-Vargas received a master’s degree in demography (2008) and a bachelor’s degree in sociology (2004) from the University of Puerto Rico. In 2009, she completed a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University. Ríos-Vargas received the Census Bureau’s Bronze Medal Award for her contributions to the 2010 Decennial Census.


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