Fewer Latinos Identified as White on 2020 Census

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A man wearing a facemask walks past a sign encouraging people to complete the 2020 US Census, in Los Angeles, California, August 10, 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

In the 2020 Census, the number of Latinos who selected “white” as their race dropped to 20% from 53% in 2010, at the same time more Latinos selected “two or more races” or “other” as their racial category. Experts say this indicates an evolution in Latinos' complicated relationship with race. The terms Latino and Hispanic emerged as categories in the U.S. Census decades ago, but the way the categories are presented on forms have been a source of controversy and confusion for just as long. Latinos come from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds, so the concept of a diverse group under one umbrella can be just as problematic as it can be empowering. We dive into the nuances of racial identity and how perceptions of race are shifting among Latinx people.


G. Cristina Mora, associate professor of sociology and Chicano/Latino Studies and the co-director of the Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley - and author of the book, "Making Hispanics"

Laura Gomez, professor of law, sociology and Chicana/Chicano & Central American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles - author of "Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism"

Paul Joseph López Oro, assistant professor of Africana Studies, Smith College