Respect Equality

Roughly 6M US adults identify as Afro-Latino, new study finds

That number is significantly higher than what the U.S. Census data says.
A group calling for the end of deportations marches in the Dominican Day Parade, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in New York. A new report released Monday, May 2, 2022 by Pew Research Center says about 6 million adults in the United States identify as Afro Latino, a distinction with deep roots in colonial Latin America. That’s about 2% of the adult U.S. population and 12% of the adult Latino population in the U.S. Many Hispanic people identify themselves based on their ancestral countries of origin, their Indigenous roots or racial background. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Story at a glance

  • A new study from the Pew Research Center calculated that there were about 6 million adults in the country that identified as Afro-Latino in 2020.  

  • That number represents a major increase over what the U.S. Census Bureau data shows, which is that only about 1.1 million U.S. adults view themselves as Afro-Latino.  

  • The discrepancy speaks to the issue of the U.S. Census Bureau’s design of its Hispanic race and origin questions.  

There were roughly 6 million adults in the United States that identified as Afro-Latino in 2020, a new study from the Pew Research Center found.  

That number is much higher than what the U.S. Census Bureau estimated for that year. Census data shows that more than 1,163,862 American adults identified as having both Hispanic origin and being Black or African American alone.  

Pew researchers calculated the number of Afro-Latinos in the United States by asking adults directly in surveys if they self-identify as Afro-Latino. This approach resulted in more survey respondents claiming Afro-Latino identity than by using the U.S. Census Bureau’s two-step race question format.  


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


“We have learned something over the years, the question about race does not capture the complexities of racial identity among Latinos,” said Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center. “This is why we went and decided to survey not only Latinos but everybody in our survey.”  

Latinos’ racial identity is multifaceted given the history of colonialism across the Americas. Between the 1500s to the 1800s, about 15 times as many Africans were forcibly taken to Spanish and Portuguese colonies as slaves than the United States. Currently, about a quarter of the total population of Latin America is made up of people of African descent, according to the report.  

Those 6 million adults in the U.S. mean Afro-Latino adults made up about 2 percent of the total adult population of the country and about 12 percent of the adult Latino population residing in the United States.  

About 1 in 7 Afro-Latinos — or an estimated 800,000 adults — do not identify as Hispanic, researchers found. And the Afro-Latino adults who do not identify as Hispanic are more likely to choose Black as their race on surveys than those who identify as Latino.  

Afro-Latino adults, according to the report, are more likely to be Puerto Rican or Dominican in origin and less likely to be of Mexican origin.   


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

ENTIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT RESIGNS IN MISSOURI

UN CALLS FOR US, OTHERS TO END ‘IMPUNITY’ FOR POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE

RACIAL CONTROVERSY ERUPTS AROUND ROYALS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE

PRINCIPAL ESCORTED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION AFTER DELIVERING FIERY SPEECH