LatinaLista — There's no denying the Latino population is growing. With the growth, there comes a growing debate as to how to classify Latinos — as a race or as an ethnic group?
[caption id="attachment_21276" align="alignleft" width="300"] Though the map shows the more than 3,000 counties in the continental US, the On Numbers database only looked at the 979 counties that had 50,000 or more people.[/caption]
Classifying Latinos as a race removes Latinos from self-identifying as white, black, Native American, etc. and creates a separate category. Labeling Latinos as an ethnic group causes a little more confusion come Census time and anytime when filling out a form that wants to know ethnic heritage, making people choose a racial category as well as Hispanic/Latino.
It's not often that Latinos are recognized as a racial group unto themselves but a new analysis of how large the Latino population is in the US decided it was far easier to classify Latinos as a racial group than an ethnicity. On Numbers, a series by The Business Journals , a media group that publishes state business news in print and online, created a database looking at 979 counties of more than 50,000 people to see if the Latino population is growing and where.
The answer is yes. Latino communities are growing more dense. According to the On Numbers database, the Latino population grew in all but 14 of the 979 major counties — "from 47.94 million Hispanics in mid-2010 to 49.10 million in mid-2011."
Where this growth is occurring is not surprising. It's mainly in California and Texas with counties from both states comprising the top 4 counties for high Latino populations. However, rounding out the top 5 is Maricopa, Arizona. In a state that saw the anti-immigrant law SB1070 pass, it goes to show that the future of the state is going to rest with the one group today's legislators have tried their best to disenfranchise.
The On Numbers database lets users search by state or look at the nation as a whole as to which counties are seeing a growth trend among Latinos.
Los Angeles County, Calif., led the nation by adding 58,978 Hispanic residents in one year. The runners-up are both from Texas: Harris County (Houston) with a gain of 46,109 and Dallas County with an increase of 27,847.
The data further shows that no matter if Latinos are classified as a racial group or an ethnicity, the truth is Latinos should be considered one category above all else — American.