Winnie, William W.; Jr.
May 1960
Social Forces;May60, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p363
Academic Journal
This article is a preliminary evolution on the Spanish surname criterion for identifying Hispanos in the Southwestern United States. The importance of separately identifying Hispanos in population statistics for the Southwest has long been recognized by the United States Bureau of the Census. In 1930, enumerators were instructed to classify as "Mexican" those persons born in Mexico or having parents born in Mexico who were not definitely white, Indian, African-Americans or members of some other race. The results were politically embarrassing and technically misleading. Strong objections were made both in this country and abroad against classifying Hispanic people as nonwhite, and, as would be expected, most of the large native Spanish-American population of native stock was omitted from the special category. Because of the difficulties with the procedure used in 1930, no effort has been made since then to directly identify Hispanos in the United States Census of Population. The most important conclusion of this study is that no single criterion can be selected as "best" for identifying Hispanos in population statistics in general or in censuses in particular.


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