Determinants of Race Reporting by Hispanics in a National Health Survey

Jacqueline W. Lucas, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Elizabeth Arias, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

According to the 2000 Census, Hispanics are the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States (12.5% of the U.S. population). Nearly half (42%) of the Hispanic population selected “some other race”. Among persons who reported their race as “some other race", most were Hispanic (97%). We utilize data from the 1999-2005 National Health Interview Surveys to examine factors associated with the race of Hispanic persons. Preliminary findings show that none of the hypothesized determinants of race selection explain the Hispanic – non-Hispanic differential. Hispanics remain overwhelmingly more likely to be in the “other race” category. Preliminary results also show that Hispanic subgroups differ greatly in their racial profiles. These results underscore that race is an extremely complex dynamic for Hispanics in the U.S.

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Presented in Session 42: Measurement Issues in Race/Ethnicity