Spatial Demography

A blog that discusses spatial demography, spatial inequality, and spatial justice

Month: June, 2014

Hispanic Origin by White and Other Race

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.

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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.

Foreign-Born Demograpic Transitions in St. Louis

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.

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Historical Trends of the Foreign-Born Population in St. Louis

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
1850 52,969 104,978 50.5%
1860 96,086 190,524 50.4%
1870 124,378 351,189 35.4%

 

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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.

The Spatial Distribution of White Latinos in the 2010 Census

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)

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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.

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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.