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Can "Hispanic" Be Both Race And Ethnicity? Hispanics Say Yes

Alexia Fodere
El Nuevo Herald

The U.S. Census Bureau considers Hispanics an ethnic group only and not a racial group. But a growing number of Hispanics have urged the census to allow them to be defined as both - and a new survey out today gives them more ammunition.

The Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. has released a new report called “Multiracial in America.” As part of the study it examined how U.S. Hispanics view themselves in terms of race.

Many may find the results surprising. The Census Bureau has long defined Hispanics as an ethnic group whose members are either white or black. But 67 percent of Hispanics themselves told Pew that being Hispanic is part of their racial background.

In other words, two-thirds of Hispanics consider themselves a race as well as an ethnicity. That’s especially true of Mexican, Central American and Caribbean Hispanics, most of whom are products of mestizaje, a New World mix of European, Native American and African races.

The Pew findings could influence the federal government to revise its forms for Hispanics in the next census in 2020.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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