If an individual did not provide a Hispanic origin response, their origin was allocated using specific rules of precedence of household relationship. For example, if origin was missing for a natural-born child in the household, then either the origin of the householder, another natural-born child, or spouse of the householder was allocated. If Hispanic origin was not reported for anyone in the household and origin could not be obtained from a response to the race question, then the Hispanic origin of a householder in a previously processed household with the same race was allocated. Surnames (Spanish and Non-Spanish) were used to assist in allocating an origin or race.
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 six Hispanic origin groups (Argentinean, Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Spaniard, and so on).
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.
The ACS question on Hispanic origin was revised in 2008 to make it consistent with the 2010 Census Hispanic origin question. The reporting of specific Hispanic groups (e.g., Colombian, Dominican, Spaniard, etc.) increased at the national level. The change in estimates for 2012 may be due to demographic changes, as well as factors including questionnaire changes, differences in ACS population controls, and methodological differences in the population estimates. Caution should be used when comparing 2012 estimates to estimates from previous years. The 2012 Hispanic origin question is different from the Census 2000 question on Hispanic origin, therefore comparisons should be made with caution. More information about the changes in the estimates is available (http://www.census.gov/population/hispanic/files/acs08researchnote.pdf
See the 2012 Code List on the ACS website (http://www.census.gov/acs
) for Hispanic Origin Code List.