Race and Hispanic Origin and the 2010 Census


Written by: Karen R. Humes, Assistant Division Chief for Special Population Statistics, Population Division; Nicholas A. Jones, Chief, Racial Statistics Branch, Population Division; and Roberto R. Ramirez, Chief, Ethnicity and Ancestry Branch, Population Division


During the 2010 Census, questions on race and Hispanic origin were asked of every individual living in the United States. These data provide a snapshot of race and Hispanic origin in the United States.

Percent Change in Minority Pop by County According to the 2010 Census, 308.7 million people resided in the United States on April 1, 2010, an increase of 27.3 million people, or 9.7 percent, between 2000 and 2010. The vast majority of the growth in the total population came from increases in those who reported their race(s) as something other than White alone and those who reported their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino.

More than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population.

Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent. The Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010, accounting for over half of the 27.3 million increase in the total population of the United States.

The overwhelming majority of the total population of the United States reported only one race in 2010.

In the 2010 Census, 97 percent of all respondents reported only one race. The largest group reported White alone (72 percent). The Black or African American alone population represented 13 percent of the total population. In addition, 0.9 percent of respondents indicated American Indian and Alaska Native alone and about 5 percent identified their race as Asian alone. The smallest major race group was Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, representing 0.2 percent of the total population.

The examination of racial and ethnic group distributions nationally shows that while the non-Hispanic White alone population is still numerically and proportionally the largest major race and ethnic group in the United States, it is also growing at the slowest rate.

Throughout the decade, the Census Bureau will release additional information on race and Hispanic origin population groups, which will provide more insights to the nation’s racial and ethnic diversity.

For more information on race and Hispanic origin in the United States, click here and here. Read the full brief here.

Hispanic origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.

Data on race have been collected since the first U.S. decennial census in 1790. The 2010 Census question on race included 15 separate response categories and three areas where respondents could write in detailed information about their race. In addition to White, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Some Other Race, seven of the 15 response categories are Asian groups and four are Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander groups.

How do data from the question on Hispanic origin and race benefit me, my family, and my community?

All levels of government need information on Hispanic origin and race to implement and evaluate programs, or enforce laws. Examples include: the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, and the Census Redistricting Data Program.

Both public and private organizations use Hispanic origin and race information to find areas where groups may need special services and to plan and implement education, housing, health, and other programs that address these needs. For example, a school system might use this information to design cultural activities that reflect the diversity in their community. Or a business could use it to select the mix of merchandise it will sell in a new store. Census information also helps identify areas where residents might need services of particular importance to certain racial or ethnic groups, such as screening for hypertension or diabetes.

This entry was posted in Population and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Race and Hispanic Origin and the 2010 Census

  1. pat carpenter says:

    There goes the neighborhood! Great job Federal Government, you have single handedly accomplished exactly what they wanted….to take over the U.S. and take back California. It’s not the Mexican national as an individual that’s bad, it’s the rampant overburden on our social & economic system that they represent as a whole that’s the problem. This is a planned take over, a silent assassination of our county that our Government has allowed to happen. The reason? Simply to drive wages into the ground so that corporate America and the rich elite can keep wages suppressed. They will not be pickers and ditch diggers forever and they will all soon have your job in the white and ble collar sector. When they move up into corporate America I ask you this ” Who will then do the picking & ditch digging?

  2. tania says:

    Wow! you are so right. Who would have thought that it would only take someone who cannot even spell the word “country” to figure out our evil plot. Bravo! It is too bad that someone so smart will soon be picking and digging ditches.

  3. jason says:

    an oversight of the likelihood that perhaps all people want more from life than ditch digging…ignorant contradictory bigotry

  4. Angelo Gomez says:

    The rapid growth of “minorities” also overlooks the move that Whites have had for centuries, that is Southward. Population migration has always occurred throughout world’s history. And despite the pessimistic views previously expressed, we still enjoy one of the longest lifespan ever, the highest quality of living in human history, the capacity to fight and cure the largest number of illnesses, and thanks to the continuous influx of “cheap labor,” the US can allow its people to enjoy a good standard of living at affordable prices. No bad for a country which otherwise, would have declined in population, lack young cheap work force, and the continuous capacity for sustained productivity and growth.

  5. Juan says:

    Nice article. If I may, I would add a few observations based on the last two Censuses and the ACS 2005-2009 summary file.
    The figures from the last two Censuses in addition to the data from the 2005-2009 ACS estimates have provided enough evidence to support the idea that statistically speaking, the United States is far from becoming a racial melting pot. Individuals in the United States continue identifying themselves in an overwhelming manner with a one race only. The ‘White’ population has decreased, not due to a multiracial factor, but to other causes such as a rapidly aging group among whites, decrease in the number of children per households, and other factors. On the other hand, other minority groups such as Asian and Hispanics have a lower median age and a higher female population in child-bearing ages among other factors.
    Less than 3 percent of the population in the United States identifies themselves with more than one race. The two or more races category showed a 34% change from 2000 to 2010 which can be attributed to two main racial groups and perhaps to Hispanics. With the exception of the American Indian and Alaskan Native and the Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander groups, the other racial groups have a high percentage for one race only. The Hispanic population has also shown their tendency to identify themselves with a one race only, but also has the highest rate of those identifying with ‘Some Other Race’. And even when using ‘Some Other Race’, Hispanics overwhelmingly choose one race only.
    Race continues to be a social construct defined and re-defined by the United States federal agencies that need such data for political redistricting, federal money distribution, federal programs such as EEO and others, and for other uses. However, because race is socially constructed it can also be used for other purposes as has been the case in the United States creating an atmosphere that goes beyond reporting or self-reporting on this social construct. The history of race and with it, racism in the United States has left many undesirable effects in defining the population of this country and the Census Bureau and other Federal agencies that collect race data. The debate on race always gets heated around every Decennial Census as if the Census Bureau was the one defining race alone. Are we moving toward a more racially integrated society? People’s perception may say ‘Yes’, but the “official” figures say otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *