According to a new census study, more Hispanic Americans are identifying themselves as white.
The data was presented at an annual meeting of the Population Association of America and reported by Pew Research. According to the findings, 1.2 million Hispanics out of the 35 million who were identified as such in 2000 have changed their race from “some other race” to “white” in the time between the 2000 and 2010 census.
The research also notes that there are two different questions concerning race for those of Hispanic or Latino origin. One question on the census asks whether or not a respondent is Hispanic; a separate question asks about race. When given the options of “black” or “white,” it’s common for Latino respondents to select “some other race,” but recently, it seems, more are identifying themselves as white instead.
What’s more, the data may show a continuing trend of assimilation, as many of those who identified as “white” were second- and third-generation immigrants and also tended to have higher education levels and higher incomes.
In fact, the census numbers show a rate of integration much like waves of European immigrants such as Italian and Irish immigrants, making fears of a “Hispanic challenge” and Spanish-speaking underclass increasingly unlikely.