Nearly half of self-described Hispanics and Latinos do not identify with the Census category "Hispanic or Latino," with a growing number instead choosing "some other race" when filling out the critically important forms, according to the Census Bureau.
In a report that heralds encouraging results in a test of new identifying terms, the Census said that 43.5 percent of "self-reported Hispanics did not report belonging to any federally recognized race group."
In fact, "some other race" has become the third largest race in Census calculations, driven by the surge in Hispanics who chose the category.
And with the Hispanic population growing far faster than any other, their refusal to identify with the race terms used by the federal government is developing into a potential crisis since the numbers are used in many federal calculations.
As it readies for the next national count in 2020, however, the Census is working to fix the issue by expanding the choices for Hispanics and others, such as those from the Middle East and North Africa, to include race and origin.
Results from the 2015 test just revealed in the report showed that many more Hispanics identified as Hispanics, a positive trend.
A new Pew Research Center analysis of the results found that a large majority of Hispanics chose "Hispanic" in the new questionnaire that allowed them to choose several boxes that, for example, allowed them to choose "Hispanic," then an origin, like "Dominican."
The Census test report also sounded positive.
"By combining the race and Hispanic origin questions into one question on race/ethnicity, the research has shown that Hispanics can better find themselves among the race and ethnicity categories," said the report.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org