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Latinos And The 2010 Census: The Foreign Born Are More Positive

by Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Pew Hispanic Center, and
Paul Taylor, Director, Pew Hispanic Center

Report Materials

 Complete Report

Foreign-born Hispanics are more positive and knowledgeable about the 2010 U.S. Census than are native-born Hispanics, according to a nationwide survey of 1,003 Latino adults conducted March 16-25, 2010, by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Overall, seven-in-ten (70%) Hispanics say the census is good for the Hispanic community. However, foreign-born Hispanics are more likely than native-born Hispanics to feel this way-80% versus 57%.

Foreign-born Hispanics are also more likely than native-born Hispanics to correctly say the census cannot be used to determine whether or not someone is in the country legally-69% versus 57%. And they are more inclined than the native born to trust the Census Bureau to keep their personal information confidential. Eight-in-ten of both groups know that the bureau is required to do so; however, among those who know this, just 66% of the native born say they believe the bureau will abide by this requirement, compared with 80% of the foreign born.

Hispanics are the nation's largest minority ethnic group. They numbered 46.9 million, or 15.4% of the total U.S. population, in 2008, up from 35.3 million in the 2000 Census. Among all Hispanics living in this country, 62% are native born and 38% are foreign born. Among Hispanic adults, however, just 47% are native born while 53% are foreign born.

Census participation rates among Hispanics have traditionally been lower than those of other groups. In the 2000 Census, the mail return rate among Hispanic households was 69%, while for non-Hispanic households it was 79%. As part of its effort to increase participation rates among groups that have historically had low levels of census participation, the Census Bureau has spent about 20% of its total advertisement budget this year on paid ads aimed at the Hispanic community, mainly Spanish speakers.

According to the Pew Hispanic survey, nearly half (48%) of all Latinos say they have seen or heard something recently from an organization encouraging them to fill out their census form. But here again, there is a significant difference between the foreign born and the native born in the share who report having seen or heard such messages-56% versus 38%.

The timing of the Pew Hispanic survey coincided with the arrival of 2010 Census forms in the mailboxes of most U.S. households beginning March 15, with reminder postcards arriving March 22-24. The forms ask for basic information about everyone living in the household as of April 1, 2010, Census Day.

WHO:  Founded in 2001, the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation. The Center does not take positions on policy issues. It is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a public charity based in Philadelphia.

Contact:

Mary Seaborn

info@pewhispanic.org

 202-419-3606

 or  

Paul Fucito
pfucito@pewresearch.org
202-419-4372



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