We’re reporting Census data all wrong

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2022-01-07 02:27Z by Steven

We’re reporting Census data all wrong

Boston Indicators
Cambridge, Massachusetts
2021-12-13

Luc Schuster, Director
Boston Indicators, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Traditional reporting of census data may be contributing to misleading findings about actual demographic change.

Census data on race and ethnicity are invaluable for understanding who we are as a region and how we’re changing over time. Invaluable, yes. But also imperfect. Headlines during the census count last year focused on challenges facing Census Bureau workers during a pandemic and on the Trump administration’s efforts to depress the count in certain areas. But the physical count isn’t the only problem. While back-end reporting changes for the 2020 Census in some ways help us see more clearly who we are as a multiracial, multiethnic nation, other changes have led to misleading findings about actual demographic change. These challenges are compounded by traditional reporting approaches used by researchers like us that have tended to not include all people who select a given race on their census form.

Fortunately, alternatives exist for painting a more accurate picture. These judgment calls make an especially large difference for Boston’s White, Black, and Native American populations, as shown in the graph below, but the traditional reporting approach skews other race totals as well. Traditional reporting of 2020 census data understates Boston’s Black population by almost 43,000 residents…

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When it comes to measuring race, the Census Bureau has repeatedly contorted its definitions and contradicted itself to uphold a specific image of whiteness.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-01-05 17:05Z by Steven

When it comes to measuring race, the [United States] Census Bureau has repeatedly contorted its definitions and contradicted itself to uphold a specific image of whiteness. For instance, in 1890, “quadroon” and “octoroon” were added to the census to justify the discrimination of Black Americans, only for both to be removed in the following census and never used again. Similarly, in 1930, the census added a “Mexican” racial category, which was then eliminated in the next census, after the Mexican government lobbied to have those immigrants classified as white, therefore reinstating their eligibility for citizenship.

Jasmine Mithani and Alex Samuels, “Who The Census Misses,” FiveThirtyEight, December 13, 2021. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-the-census-misses/.

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Who The Census Misses

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-01-04 18:27Z by Steven

Who The Census Misses

FiveThirtyEight
2021-12-13

Jasmine Mithani and Alex Samuels


Sibba Hartunian
Large groups of people have always fallen through the cracks of its racial categories — often by design.

For James Harmoush of Colorado, none of the census boxes quite fit.

In 2010 and 2020, when the census asked him to select a box regarding his race, he picked “white.” But there’s one major problem there: Harmoush doesn’t — and has never — seen himself that way.

“Nobody would ever look at me or talk to me and say, ‘You’re white,’” said the 30-year-old Arab American lawyer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Harmoush sees himself as part of a minority group, but the U.S. Census Bureau legally classifies him as a white man.

Harmoush is not alone. Many Americans we spoke with felt the census classifications — both “white” specifically as well as the other available categories more generally — do not match the way they identify. In total, we heard from over 200 people with frustrations ranging from the naming of categories (like “Asian Indian” to represent people with ancestry from India) to confusion over why some racial groups, like Japanese or Samoan, were given their own boxes, while Middle Eastern, North African, Southwest Asian and others were lumped together under a catchall “white” racial group. We also heard from some Americans who were now completely rethinking how they personally identified due to the way they saw race and politics intermingle in society today…

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That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-11 16:44Z by Steven

That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau. The ACS collected and classified race in the same way that the 2010 census had throughout the prior decade. The last of the 2019 ACS data were gathered just a few months before the census, and the reported results showed that the percentage of Latinos categorized as single-race white was unchanged since the ACS survey of 2011.

Morris Levy, Richard Alba, and Dowell Myers, “The Truth About White America,” The Atlantic, October 25, 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/2020-census-white-population-decline/620470/.

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Fifth of Blacks are Mulattoes

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-11-01 15:14Z by Steven

Fifth of Blacks are Mulattoes

The Atlanta Georgian
1912-08-29 (Extra)
page 3, column 1
Source: Georgia Historic Newspapers

United States Census Shows Great Increase in Percentage of Mixed Element.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29.—A preliminary statement showing by states and geographic divisions the number and proportion of mulattoes among the negroes enumerated at the thirteenth decennial census of the United States, taken as of April 15, 1910, was issued today by Director [Edward Dana] Durand. of the bureau of the census.

The statement gives comparative figures for 1870 and 1890, no data being available for 1880 or 1900.

The term “mulatto,” as used in the census of 1910, includes all person, not full-blooded negroes, who have some proportion or perceptible trace of negro blood. The bureau of census does not regard the returns as being beyond question, since the classification of negroes as full-bloods or mulattoes was necessarily to a considerable degree dependent upon the personal opinion and conscientiousness of the enumerators. The results, however, are believed to approximate the facts for the country as a whole and for large aggregates.

How Percentage Grows.

In 1910 there were in continental United States, as a whole, 9,827,763 negroes, of whom 2,050,686, or 20.9 percent, were reported as mulattoes. In 1890 there were 1,132,060 mulattoes reported, or 15.2 per cent of all the negroes, and in 1870 a total of 584,049, or 12 per cent. Thus the figures, taken at their face value, show that about one-fifth of all the negroes in 1910 had some admixture of white blood, as against about one-eighth in 1870. It may be noted, however, that an increase in the mulatto element does not necessarily imply increasing intermixture with the whites, since the children born of marriages between blacks and mulattoes would be mulattoes, according to the census definition.

The percentage of mulattoes reported varies widely in different states and different sections of the country. In New England and in the East, North Central and Pacific divisions, about one-third of the negro population were reported as mulattoes, while in each of the three Southern divisions the proportion is only about one-fifth. In the Middle Atlantic division, for some reason, the percentage is not higher than it is in the Southern divisions. This may possibly bs due to the rapid growth of the negro population in that division through immigration from the South.

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The Truth About White America

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-27 16:09Z by Steven

The Truth About White America

The Atlantic
2021-10-25

Morris Levy, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations
University of Southern California

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dowell Myers, Professor of Policy, Planning, and Demography
University of Southern California


The Atlantic

The Census Bureau wanted to gather data about a changing nation, but ended up reinforcing old racial categories.

If you paid attention to the news this summer about the release of 2020 census data, you probably heard that America’s white population is in free fall. Big, if true.

The statistic that launched a thousand hot takes and breathless voice-overs about racial change was a supposed 8.6 percent, or 19 million, drop in the number of white Americans since 2010. Headlines cast this decline as unprecedented in census history and signaled that the nation’s majority-minority future loomed even closer than previously forecast. Pundits spun it as a harbinger of policy change and partisan realignment, for better or worse. Some wisely cautioned against demography-as-destiny assumptions in a country where the definition and public understanding of race can change rapidly. But few observers questioned whether the reported differences between the 2010 and 2020 censuses reflected real demographic change or simply statistical noise.

Commentators should have read the fine print before rushing to trot out their favorite narratives. If they had, they would have discovered that the eye-popping figure at the center of this summer’s hoopla is an illusion. The apparent decline in the white population is a result of changes to the Census Bureau’s protocol for measuring and classifying racial identity. The changes aimed to more accurately gauge the expansion of the country’s mixed-race population through new and more sophisticated data collection and classification techniques that capture the nuances of Americans’ multifaceted racial and ethnic identities. But a combination of bureaucratic constraints and messaging failures paved the way to public confusion…

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1 In 7 People Are ‘Some Other Race’ On The U.S. Census. That’s A Big Data Problem

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-01 18:07Z by Steven

1 In 7 People Are ‘Some Other Race’ On The U.S. Census. That’s A Big Data Problem

National Public Radio
2021-09-30

Hansi Lo Wang


Growing numbers of Latinos identifying as “Some other race” for the U.S. census have boosted the category to become the country’s second-largest racial group after “White.” Researchers are concerned the catchall grouping obscures many Latinx people’s identities and does not produce the data needed to address racial inequities.
Ada daSilva/Getty Images

For Leani García Torres, none of the boxes really fit.

In 2010, she answered U.S. census questions for the first time on her own as an adult. Is she of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? That was easy. She marked, “Yes, Puerto Rican.”

But then came the stumper: What is her race?

“Whenever that question is posed, it does raise a little bit of anxiety,” García Torres explains. “I actually remember calling my dad and saying, ‘What race are you putting? I don’t know what to put.’ ”

The categories the once-a-decade head count uses — “White,” “Black” and “American Indian or Alaska Native,” plus those for Asian and Pacific Islander groups — have never resonated with her.

“It’s tricky,” the Brooklyn, N.Y., resident by way of Tennessee says. “Both of my parents are from the island of Puerto Rico, and we’re just historically pretty mixed. If you look at anyone in my family, you wouldn’t really be able to guess a race. We just look vaguely tan, I would say.”…

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White supremacy, with a tan

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2021-09-06 01:42Z by Steven

White supremacy, with a tan

CNN (Cable News Network)
2021-09-04

John Blake, Enterprise writer/producer

(CNN) Cutting taxes for the rich helps the poor. There is no such thing as a Republican or a Democratic judge. Climate change is a hoax.

Some political myths refuse to die despite all evidence the contrary. Here’s another:

When White people are no longer a majority, racism will fade and the USwill never be a White country again.”

This myth was reinforced recently when the US Census’ 2020 report revealed that people who identify as White alone declined for the first time since the Census began in 1790. The majority of Americans under 18 are now people of color, and people who identity as multiracial increased by 276% over the last decade.

These Census figures seemed to validate a common assumption: The US is barreling toward becoming a rainbow nation around 2045, when White people are projected to become a minority.

That year has been depicted as “a countdown to the White apocalypse,” and “dreadful” news for White supremacists.” Two commentators even predicted the US “White majority will soon disappear forever.” It’s now taken as a given that the “Browning of America” will lead to the erosion of White supremacy.

I used to believe those predictions. Now I have a different conclusion:

Don’t ever underestimate White supremacy’s ability to adapt.

The assumption that more racial diversity equals more racial equality is a dangerous myth. Racial diversity can function as a cloaking device, concealing the most powerful forms of White supremacy while giving the appearance of racial progress.

Racism will likely be just as entrenched in a browner America as it is now. It will still be White supremacy, with a tan…

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What The New Census Data Shows About Race Depends On How You Look At It

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-09-01 00:29Z by Steven

What The New Census Data Shows About Race Depends On How You Look At It

National Public Radio
2021-08-13

Connie Hanzhang Jin

Ruth Talbot

Hansi Lo Wang, Correspondent, National Desk

Over the past decade, the United States continued to grow more racially and ethnically diverse, according to the results of last year’s national head count that the U.S. Census Bureau released this week.

There are many ways to slice the data and change how the demographic snapshot looks.

Since the 2000 count, participants have been able to check off more than one box when answering the race question on census forms. But breakdowns of the country’s racial and ethnic makeup often don’t reflect a multiracial population that has increased by 276% since the 2010 census. They focus instead on racial groups that are made up of people who marked only one box, with multiracial people sometimes lumped together in a catchall group.

Using the new 2020 census results, here’s what a breakdown with a catchall group for multiracial people looks like:

The 2020 U.S. Racial And Ethnic Makeup By Residents With One Race Reported

This breakdown puts residents who said they identified with two or more racial categories into an independent group. It also groups together people who identified as Hispanic or Latino, which federal standards do not consider a racial category. How that group should be represented is a subject of much debate.

One ▢ = 150,000 people

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A birth certificate masked my multiracial truth. For me and 33 million others, the 2020 Census asserts it.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-08-31 13:57Z by Steven

A birth certificate masked my multiracial truth. For me and 33 million others, the 2020 Census asserts it.

The Washington Post
2021-08-31

Steve Majors


More than 33 million people in the United States identify as being of two or more races, according to the 2020 Census, a 276 percent jump from the 2010 head count. (Paul Sancya/AP)

My face burned — whether with anger or shame, I wasn’t sure. In 1994, I stood outside human resources at the CBS offices in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Studio City and listened to my future boss over the phone. You want the job? You need to complete the paperwork and check just one box, he insisted. Hours earlier, my pencil had marked X’s in two boxes on the application form. One designated my race as White, the other Black. The HR representative had called him to intervene, and now she waited inside her office for my decision. In a split second, I decided. I wanted the job at CBS’s flagship TV station in Los Angeles; it would be career-changing. So, though no one had told me which box to check, I had a feeling what the HR rep wanted. The recruiter who had first connected me with the opportunity had explicitly told me CBS was looking to increase diversity among its producer ranks. So I grabbed the pencil and erased the mark that declared me half-White. After all, I thought, no one — not even my own family — had officially told me I was of mixed race. The only evidence I had otherwise was written all over my face.

Decades later, when the “23andMe” response jumped into my email inbox at work, I stopped talking to colleagues mid-meeting to read the results. After years of looking at my pale reflection in the mirror and questioning my identity, I already knew the truth. When I walked out into the world, people looked at my fair skin and perceived and treated me as White. I sensed that the birth certificate that claimed I had the same father as my all-Black siblings was a lie, as was the story of my birth that my mother held on to until her death. Even my family’s nickname for me, “High Yella,” has been a signal to me that I was different from them. Now the results I read confirmed it: 56 percent European, 42 percent sub-Saharan African, with a fraction of East Asian and Indigenous American and other thrown in. I felt a sense of recognition. Science had validated who I was.

This month, I felt a similar sense of validation. After filling out the 2020 Census and checking the box to declare myself as two or more races, I saw the final results. My multiracial identity counts, and I’m far from being alone. According to the data, I’m among 33.8 million people who identify as multiracial, a whopping 276 percent increase since the 2010 Census. It’s proof that the United States is truly a racial melting pot, with the most diverse population in its history…

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