From the Huffington Post:
Latinos aren't just changing the population, they're even changing how the population is measured. While collecting population data, starting in 2000, the Census Bureau began to identify the white racial category as "white, non-Hispanic," and allowed for Latinos to use both racial and ethnic identifiers to categorize themselves. Alluding to a group of people of various racial backgrounds, the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" most commonly describe those peoples united by the Spanish language and Latin American culture. Some groups of Latinos, such as Afro-Latinos, often self-identify in both racial and ethnic terms. Ruben Rumbaut, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine, told NPR last year that, "in the year 2000, persons that checked that they were Hispanic, when they answer the question on race, approximately 48 percent check white and another 43 percent check some other race." Rumbaut concluded that race "is not a biological given category." Rather, he says, it's "a social and legal and political construction whose meaning changes over time."

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