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Data Dictionary: Census 2010
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Survey: Census 2010
Data Source: Census Bureau; Social Explorer
Universe: Total population
Variable Details
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2010 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 1: Technical Documentation, Issued June 2011.
Hispanic or Latino Origin
The data on the Hispanic or Latino population were derived from answers to a question that was asked of all people. 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. People who identify with the terms Hispanic,Latino, or Spanish are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish categories listed on the questionnaire (Mexican,Puerto Rican, or Cuban) as well as those who indicate that they are 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 another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, or the Dominican Republic. Up to two write-in responses to the another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin category are coded.

Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the persons parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be 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. (See the discussion of householder under "Household Type and Relationship.")

If an individual did not provide a Hispanic origin response, his or her 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 their origin was assigned based on their prior census record (either from Census 2000 or the American Community Survey), if available. If not, then the Hispanic origin of a householder in a previously processed household with the same race was allocated. (For more information on allocation, see "2010 Census: Operational Overview and Accuracy of the Data.") As in Census 2000, surnames (Spanish and non-Spanish) were used to assist in allocating an origin or race.

There are four changes to the Hispanic origin question for the 2010 Census. First, the wording of the question differs from that in 2000. In 2000, the question asked if the person was Spanish/Hispanic/Latino. In 2010, the question asks if the person is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. Second, in 2000, the question provided an instruction, Mark ý the 'No'box if not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino. The 2010 Census question provided no specific instruction for non-Hispanics. Third, in 2010, the Yes, another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin category provided examples of six Hispanic origin groups (Argentinean, Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Spaniard, and so on) and instructed respondents to print origin. In 2000, no Hispanic origin examples were given. Finally, the fourth change was the addition of a new instruction in the 2010 Census that was not used in Census 2000. The instruction is stated as follows: NOTE: Please answer BOTH Question 8 about Hispanic origin and Question 9 about race. For this census, Hispanic origins are not races.

There were two changes to the Hispanic origin question for Census 2000. First, the sequence of the race and Hispanic origin questions for Census 2000 differs from that in 1990; in 1990, the race question preceded the Hispanic origin question. Testing prior to Census 2000 indicated that response to the Hispanic origin question could be improved by placing it before the race question without affecting the response to the race question. Second, there was an instruction preceding the Hispanic origin question indicating that respondents should answer both the Hispanic origin and the race questions. This instruction was added to give emphasis to the distinct concepts of the Hispanic origin and race questions, and emphasized the need for both pieces of information.

Furthermore, there was a change in the processing of the Hispanic origin and race responses. In the 1990 census, respondents provided Hispanic origin responses in the race question and race responses in the Hispanic origin question. In 1990, the Hispanic origin question and the race question had separate edits; therefore, although information may have been present on the questionnaire, it was not fully utilized due to the discrete nature of the edits. However, for Census 2000, there was a joint race and Hispanic origin edit that utilized Hispanic origin and race information regardless of the location.