Yesterday, I posted a basic map that showed the spatial distribution of Chicanos. I started to work with data and I realized that a quintile distribution of the data was a more appropriate technique. I created two more maps for Latinos that use the term, “Chicano” or “Mexicano.” Perhaps the most surprising finding is that there are more self-identified Chicanos in Idaho and Washington compared to Illinois.
Cuantos Somos: A Demographic Study of the Mexican-American Population was an important attempt to interrogate data from the 1970 U.S. Census regarding the growing Latino population in the U.S. Since the release of the 1970 Census data, a growing amount of data related to Latinos has become available. The 2008-2012 ACS data gives researchers a unique opportunity to empirically study Chicanos, a subset of the Latino population. To my knowledge, there has been no empirical or quantitative study of Chicanos in the U.S. I created this map as a starting point as I begin to write a paper that explores the demographic characteristics of Chicanos.
In the past month, there has been an important discussion about Latinos and the racial classifications used by the U.S. census. I created this figure to add some additional narrative to explore how the distribution of Hispanics looks for those who identified with the white or “other” race categories.
It is obvious from this figure that there is tremendous variation by ethnic origin and the identification with the white and other racial categories. You can download the raw data from here.
These figures will add context to the underlying demographic changes form 1980 through 2010 for the earlier post on the Historical Foreign-Born Trends in St. Louis. In these figures I use the 5-year 2006-2010 ACS estimates. In the previous post today, I used the 1-year 2010 ACS Estimates. There are competing academic views as to which ACS estimates for 2010 are the most accurate.
Community and Business leaders in the Saint Louis region have created an initiative to attract more immigrants to the region. This initiative is called the “St. Louis Mosaic Project.” The motivation for this post is to begin to share some preliminary research I have completed on the history of immigration to the St. Louis region. Today I will present two figures. The first figure shows the historical numbers of the foreign-born population for St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The second figure shows the historical percent of the population that was foreign-born for St. Louis City and St. Louis County. I used 1880 as the starting point because of the great divorce between the city and county. However, data is available to track the foreign-born population before the split between the city and county. What I find remarkable about these data is that more than half of the population in 1850 and 1860 was foreign-born. Although the percent foreign born population declined in 1870, the number of foreign-born residents continued to increase.
|Table 1. Saint Louis City/County|
|Foreign-Born||Total Population||Percent Foreign-Born|
The table and two figures provide a context to understand how important immigrants were to the development of the region and how important future waves of immigrants are to the future prosperity of the region. The good news is that there is a positive trend for immigrants to the region. As of 2010, about 75% of the immigrants that reside in the St. Louis metro either live in St. Louis City (18%) or St. Louis County (56%). As immigrants make Saint Louis their home, they will continue to contribute to the diverse cultural fabric of the Saint Louis region.
Recently Professor Hector Cordero-Guzman brought attention to an important issue regarding the racial classification of Latinos in the U.S. Census. I briefly looked around for a map of the U.S. that showed where Latinos lived, that were classified as white, at the county level. Most of the maps on the web, showed percent Latino. (See Below)
Given that I could not find the map that I was looking for on the internet, I decided to take a few minutes and make two maps that showed the spatial distribution of Latinos that were classified as white and Latinos that were classified as other, using data from the 2010 Census.
To be honest, the maps raised more questions for me. For example, why is there a cluster of white Latinos along the Mexico-U.S. border? Does whiteness translate into the some meaning for a Latino living in Texas compared to a Latino living in Georgia, or a Latino living in the Central Valley of California? Not only is there a question about measurement, regarding Latinos and racial classification, but I think there is a legitimate question about the regional and historical understanding of what whiteness means for Latinos living in different parts of the U.S.
My inspiration for this blog comes from my intellectual and practical experiences from the past three years. I have realized that most of my knowledge that I find valuable has come from reading academic blogs. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I said to a colleague “you need to read this article.” What I find myself saying is “that you must read this blog on…” Time and time again, my students tell me that my recommended academic blogs are more relevant to their learning compared to academic articles. The creation of this blog has been a work in progress. I have spent the last year reflectively examining questions related to this blog: how can I create an effective spatial demography blog? do I have time? who will read the blog? etc. I came to the conclusion that part of being an intellectual is to be a public intellectual. My focus with this blog is to examine how the concept of spatial demography can foster spaces of opportunity to create a community of intellectuals interested in the development and promotion of ideas related to statistics to measure spatial inequality and policies that begin to remedy spatial injustice. Through my teaching and applied demographic research with the local community in Saint Louis, I am often encouraged to post my work online so that other individuals and organizations can use that research. I have also realized that the creation of intellectual spaces need to move outside the physical setting of a department, college, or university. I have decided it is time to join the vanguard of professors and public intellectuals committed to more inclusive spaces of opportunity where diverse groups of individuals can come together to create an intellectual community to share new ideas related to spatial inequality and spatial justice. As I embrace technology, I would like to invite you to my first webinar entitled, “A Demographic Portrait of Latino Pueblos and Hyper-Pueblos in the U.S.”