WASHINGTON - The number of Hispanics counted in the 2010 Census has been larger than expected in most states for which the Census Bureau has released detailed population totals so far, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. The gap between the Census 2010 count and Census Bureau population estimates has been widest in states with relatively small Hispanic populations.
The Census Bureau has released 2010 Census counts of Hispanics in 33 states; they accounted for the majority-58%-of population growth over the decade in those states. Those states' combined Census 2010 total of 38.7 million Hispanics was higher by 590,000 people (or 1.5%) than the bureau's own estimates for those states. Census counts for Hispanics in the remaining states will be released by the end of March.
In 23 of the 33 states, census counts were higher than the latest census estimates of Hispanics by at least 2%. In three states, the count was at least 2% lower than the census estimate. In the remaining seven states, the difference was less than 2% in either direction. By comparison, the difference between census estimates and the 2010 Census count for the total population in these 33 states was well under 1% (.2%).
Unlike the decennial Census, designed to be a 100% count of the U.S. population, the Census Bureau's population estimates are annual updates of counts from the previous census based largely on birth certificates, death certificates, immigration data and other government records. The most recent published state population estimates for Hispanics were as of July 1, 2009. For this analysis, the Hispanic estimates were updated to Census Day, April 1, 2010, by extrapolating the 2009 estimates based on each state's Hispanic population growth rate from 2008 to 2009.
The Pew Hispanic Center analysis indicates that states with large percentage differences between their Hispanic census counts and census estimates also were likely to have large percentage differences between census counts and census estimates for their total populations. This reflects the large role that Hispanics play in overall population growth. Hispanics have accounted for most of the discrepancy between 2010 Census counts and census estimates of states' total populations.
In addition, states with small Hispanic populations and states with rapidly growing Hispanic populations were most likely to have a mismatch between their census counts and census estimates of Hispanics, according to the Pew Hispanic Center analysis. As a group, the 27 states that have Hispanic populations under a million people (including many where Hispanic counts grew sharply) had a larger percentage gap between their census counts and census estimates than did the six states with larger, longer-duration Hispanic communities.
The report, "How Many Hispanics? Comparing New Census Counts with the Latest Census Estimates," authored by Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer, Pew Hispanic Center, and D'Vera Cohn, senior writer, Pew Research Center, IS AVAILABLE HERE
The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.