All Articles Tagged "2010 census"
According to published reports, early results from the U.S. Census Bureau suggest that the Hispanic population is officially the country’s second-largest group comprising 16.3 percent, or 50.5 million, of the U.S. population. This information, while interesting, raises a number of questions, such as who are these Hispanics, where do they come from, and more importantly, how does their new ethnic status in America determine their political and social clout?
Much like the Asian and African-American populations, (which have long been a thorn in the side of mixed-race identifiers, as well as newly immigrated blacks from Africa and the Caribbean Islanders), the Hispanic designation will undoubtedly face the same political, racial and social challenges.
The term “Hispanic” was first used to describe people from the Iberian Peninsula, also known as Hispania. Yet the Hispanic-identifier didn’t really take shape until the census in 1970 when it was used to define anyone from “Latin America,” as well as parts of the Caribbean. The use of the term itself is still heavily debated and is sometimes interchanged with Latino or Spanish. It has sort of become a cultural conundrum since it often lumps together folks regardless of national and cultural identity, religious affiliation and even race.
Consider the 2010 Census questionnaire when question eight asked whether a filer was a person of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. It then listed possible answers ranging from Mexican-American to Cuban to Spaniard. It might all seem harmless and interchangeable, however I personally know Puerto Ricans, some Dominicans and a few Mexicans that might snap your neck if you even dare confuse the three.
Politically speaking, although there is an appeal to treat Hispanics as a homogeneous group, Hispanics cannot be put into neat camps of Republican and Democratic voters. Cubans tend to lean more to the right whereas Mexicans lean more democratic. Among the Hispanic vote, 14 percent identified as Republicans, 54 percent as Democrats, 18 percent as independent and 7 percent as other.
For example, though Puerto Ricans may be sympathetic to the plight of immigration issues, as U.S. citizens, the vast majority of the group might not feel as personally impacted as Mexicans and other South American Hispanics. The same could be said for Cuban Americans, whose immigrant status has not necessarily compelled them to vote outside of the Republican Party.
And let us not forget about color. As question nine on the census demonstrated, Hispanics in this country are still expected to identify themselves by race. Full data information on the racial breakdown of this year’s census has yet to be released, but on the 2000 census, more than 50 percent of Hispanics chose white while only 2.7 percent identified themselves as black. An even smaller percentage chose American Indian.
According to reports, white and black Hispanics — as well as Hispanics who say that they are “some other race” — earn different levels of pay and reside in segregated neighborhoods based on the shade of their skin. Hispanics that describe themselves as white typically have higher incomes and the lowest rate of unemployment while black Hispanics typically have lower incomes and a higher rate of unemployment.
Hispanics have internal intra-racial and class distinction issues amongst themselves, which have existed prior to their arrival in this country. Now, these issues might only be accentuated in our so-called post-racial society as policymakers and researchers disregard all that and clamor to label and categorize Hispanics into one convenient pot.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
For the first time, demographers are able to make comparisons with the category now known as the “mixed-race” group thanks to the 2010 Census, which revealed that multiracial children are the fastest growing youth population in the country.
The Census gave a comprehensive report on the change of the multiracial population over the past 10 years, which showed an increase in multiracial children of “almost 50 percent to 4.2 million,” according to the New York Times. Going forward, this allows for data creation on a previously ambiguous and largely undocumented part of the population.
There are 57 racial combinations on the census. Most identified as black and white, at 20.4 percent. The census also revealed that the number of people in all age groups who identified as both black and white has grown to 1.8 million.
C. Matthew Snipp, a professor in the sociology department at Stanford University said the data “marks a truly profound shift in the way Americans, particularly African-Americans, think about race and about their heritage.”
But despite the population growth of mixed races, blacks and whites are the least likely to report being multiracial. American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders tend to report a mixed identity at a higher rate.
Suzy Richardson, the founder of the news and opinion website “Mixed and Happy,” says she is happy that her young multi-racial daughter will now be able to grow up and build confidence in her identity. “The numbers, for mixed race families like my own, mean that the world must stop and recognize the changing face of today’s family, the changing face of today’s individual,” she told The Times.
Republished from CNN –
When the Census Bureau released its annual U.S. poverty report last week, the news looked grim. Poverty had risen to 14.3 percent in 2009 from 13.2 percent in 2008 — the largest single-year increase since 1980. And there is no end in sight for those struggling to make ends meet, as unemployment has remained high throughout this year.
The general message of these latest numbers is clear: The most serious recession in a generation is taking a considerable toll on our nation’s poorest families.
But in several important ways, the Census gets it wrong.
Census poverty figures are based on a narrow measure of income that often doesn’t accurately reflect an individual’s true economic circumstances.
That is, an individual’s income may put that person below the poverty line, according to the Census measure. But that measure ignores the on-the-ground effects of some of the most critical anti-poverty weapons, most notably the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies. Recently, for example, the EITC alone provided more than $40 billion annually to the working poor.
By excluding these benefits, the Census poverty figures fail to recognize that these programs lift many people out of actual poverty.
These income-based numbers also overlook the struggles of countless others who are tightening their belts because their wealth has deteriorated. It says nothing about those who are worried about losing their jobs or facing foreclosure, and nothing about those who devote a large chunk of their paycheck to paying off medical bills or old debts. The standard of living for these folks is lower than their income would suggest.
Simply put, these poverty figures do not accurately identify those who are the worst off and fail to capture considerable long-term progress in our fight against poverty.
A better way to determine who is suffering from the current recession is to look at people’s spending, which includes things like housing, food, and other goods they are able to enjoy. Preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for consumption in 2009, like the Census figures, also indicate a rise in poverty, but tell a very different story about who is suffering most from the current recession.
Since 2007, for example, poverty measured by consumption has risen for the elderly. The Census numbers based on income, on the other hand, show no change for those 65 and older in 2008 and a sharp 8 percent dip in 2009. These numbers ignore the current strain that many elderly face as their retirement savings disappear or their home values fall.
Over the longer term, the trend is more encouraging for the elderly. In fact, there has been real progress in the war on poverty for many age groups over the past 40 years. But here, too, the Census numbers don’t tell the whole story.
The official Census numbers point to a poverty rate today that is higher than it was in 1970, suggesting that low-income households have not gained at all from the economic growth of the past four decades — a period during which incomes more than doubled, when adjusted for inflation.
There are two main reasons the official measure of poverty doesn’t reflect the progress we’ve made. First, the Census does not count the benefits of anti-poverty programs, which have expanded sharply over the past 40 years.
Second, it accounts for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, a benchmark that is slow to incorporate new consumer products (it took 15 years to include cell phones), misses changes in the quality of goods, and doesn’t fully reflect the low prices at big-box stores such as Wal-Mart.
Although these lower prices should make it easier to get out of actual poverty, their absence from the CPI causes the Census to overstate inflation and keep official poverty thresholds higher than they should be.
Correcting these flaws in poverty measurement will have only a small effect on the changes in poverty between 2008 and 2009. But small year-to-year differences can add up over time.
Since 1980, the poverty rate according to our calculations — based on a more comprehensive measure of income, that uses a more accurate price index and that includes the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and other benefits — has fallen by 3 percentage points more than the official measure. And poverty based on consumption fell by more than 5 percentage points during this same period, which translates into more than 15 million people moved out of poverty.
To be sure, there are still far too many families struggling to make ends meet. An accurate measure of poverty is crucial for designing programs that can reach these families and that are effective at reducing poverty.
The Census is currently revising the poverty measure, incorporating important improvements such as the inclusion of tax credits, food stamps, and other anti-poverty programs. But as an income-based measure of well-being, this still falls short.
Keeping track of those in need will be particularly important as the fallout from the economic crisis adds to the ranks of the impoverished.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bruce D. Meyer and James X. Sullivan.
(Daily Finance) — An initial analysis of the 431,000 jobs total reveals a May jobs report was a major disappointment. Dismal might be a better word, as private sector hiring is way too slow.