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Latino Daily News

Monday February 21, 2011

2010 Census Reveals More El Paso Hispanics Identified Themselves as “White”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in El Paso, more Hispanics see themselves as both white and Hispanic.

About 84 percent of Hispanics in El Paso County checked the “white” box on their 2010 Census forms, compared to 73 percent on the 2000 Census.

The Census Bureau recognizes ethnicity and race as two different concepts, so on the forms, people are asked if they are of Hispanic origin, and then asked to claim a race – mainly white, black, Asian, American Indian, or Alaskan Native. While previously, many Hispanics selected “other,” as they did identify as either black or white, on the 2010 forms, many more chose “white.”

“It felt kind of funny. You feel kind of uncertain,” said businessman José Luis Mauricio.

The Censuses have been asking about Hispanic origin since 1970 after the Chicano movement of the 1960s influenced the Census Bureau to count Hispanics as a cultural group.

What changed from the 2000 and 2010 Census was the fact that the latter stated that “Hispanic origins are not races.”

Jesse Acosta, chairman of the El Paso Complete Count Committee, estimates that about 98 percent of Hispanics in El Paso are white, though at least 80,000 Hispanics in the county were not comfortable marking “white” on their forms.

More that eight out of ten El Pasoans are Hispanic.