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News Release


Racial Identity Counts for Hispanic Americans

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 17, 2003) -- The fastest growing segment of Hispanic Americans, soon to be a majority, identifies as neither white nor black. These people are less affluent than "white" Hispanics but considerably more advantaged than "black" Hispanics, according to a new report by University at Albany's Lewis Mumford Center. They also live in very different kinds of neighborhoods.

"Census data do not allow us to see how people are actually perceived in the neighborhoods where they live, work and go to school," said Mumford Center Director John Logan. "But our analysis shows that treating all Hispanics as a single group seriously misrepresents their economic, cultural and racial diversity."

The new report also finds:

· Black Hispanics have lower incomes and higher rates of poverty and unemployment than other Hispanic groups and are very similar to non-Hispanic blacks in these characteristics. Nearly half of black Hispanic children have a non-Hispanic black mother or father. And the neighborhoods where black Hispanics live have nearly as many black as Hispanic residents.

· White Hispanics have the highest socioeconomic standing, they live in closest proximity to non-Hispanic whites, and their neighborhoods have a more affluent class composition than those of other Hispanic groups.

· The number of "Hispanic Hispanics" - those who identify as "some other race" - more than tripled since 1980, from under 5 million to over 16 million.

· Whether Hispanics identify a white, black, or "Hispanic" racial category depends in part on the racial composition of their metropolitan region. The "Hispanic Hispanic" response is most common in areas with a greater share of Hispanic residents. In California and Texas, they generally are the majority of Hispanics.

· A very small share of Mexicans identifies as black, but there are nearly a quarter million black Mexicans in the United States. Dominicans and Puerto Ricans are most likely to identify as black. Cubans are most likely to identify as white.

The full report can be found at

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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