POSTED: Friday, January 18, 2013 - 7:06pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 21, 2013 - 8:58am
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (NEWS CENTER 23) — With preparations already underway for the 2020 population count, the U.S. Census Bureau is considering some questionnaire changes. The term Hispanic actually refers to an ethnicity or origin and not to a race, but there is confusion about that among members of the Hispanic community. So in an attempt to eliminate that uncertainty...and to make sure Hispanics are not under counted in 2020, The Census Bureau may combine race and ethnicity questions into one category rather than two.
"We did not treat Hispanic as a race at all in the combined approach the way we did the analysis the way we calculated the data it has always been an ethnicity and it will always be we’re not making it there’s no proposal there has been anything of the census making it a race at all."
Focus studies have indicated most Hispanics would prefer the two questions be combined.
"Throughout the country we did 67 focus groups with over 800 participants throughout the country we were in Puerto Rico we were actually in Texas all over the country and I can tell you the Latino focus groups consistently said we like the combined approach."
The combined approach is being considered to reflect the growing number...and influence of Hispanics in America.
"The Latino community is a very important community in part of the decision to do the combined approach."
"The 2010 census for example shows that more than 93% of Brownsville's population is Hispanic."
Ramirez said the goal is always to improve the clarity and accuracy of the questionnaires.
"I would say that many ways that's a positive I would say hey I have an emerging group that is growing we got other groups that are growing and we can improve our questionnaires."
Now the ultimate decision is down to congress who has to approve all the us census questionnaires. Congress usually approves the questionnaires 2 years before the next census. So that means the 2020 questionnaire decision will be determined around the year 2018. Reporting from Brownsville Abigail Camilo, KVEO Newscenter 23.