Data Dictionary: ACS 2006 -- 2008 (3-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Universe: Total population
Variable Details
C03001. Hispanic Or Latino Origin By Specific Origin
Universe: Universe: Total population
Aggregation method:
Addition
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006-2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Hispanic or Latino Origin
The data on the Hispanic or Latino population, which was asked of all people, were derived from answers to Question 5. The terms "Hispanic," "Latino," and "Spanish" are used interchangeably. Some respondents identify with all three terms, while others may identify with only one of these three specific terms. Hispanics or Latinos who identify with the terms "Hispanic," "Latino," or "Spanish" are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the questionnaire - "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" - as well as those who indicate that they are of "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. People who do not identify with one of the specific origins listed on the questionnaire but indicate that they are of "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin" are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Dominican Republic, or people identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on. Up to two write-in responses to the "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish" category were coded.

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.

Some tabulations are shown by the origin of the householder. In all cases where the origin of households, families, or occupied housing units is classified as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish, the origin of the householder is used. (For more information, see the discussion of householder under "Household Type and Relationship.")

Coding of Hispanic Origin Write-in Responses
The coding of Hispanic write-in entries included an automated review, computer edit, and coding operation. There were two types of coding operations: (1) automated coding where a write-in response was automatically coded if it matched a write-in response already contained in a database known as the "master file," and (2) expert coding, which took place when a write-in response did not match an entry already on the master file, and was sent to expert coders familiar with the subject matter. During the coding process, subject-matter specialists reviewed and coded written entries from a single write-in response category on the Hispanic origin question: "Yes, Another Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin."
Limitation of the Data
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations may have Hispanic or Latino origin distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the Hispanic or Latino origin distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
Question/Concept History
Beginning in 1996, the American Community Survey question was worded "Is this person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?" In 2008, the question wording changed to "Is this person of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?" From 1999 to 2007, the Hispanic origin question provided an instruction, "Mark (X) the "No" box if not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino." The 2008 question, as well as the 1996 to 1998 questions, did not have this instruction. In addition, in 2008, the "Yes, another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish" category provided examples of other Hispanic origin groups (such as "Argentinean," "Dominican," "Salvadoran"). Results from the 2003 National Census Test showed that adding the term "origin" to the Hispanic origin question and adding examples to the "Other Hispanic" category reduced reporting of generic responses such as Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish thus improving the reporting of detailed Hispanic origins. The percentage identifying as Hispanic was not affected, see "2003 National Census Test" http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/rsm2007-34.pdf