02/05/2013 09:45 am ET

Hispanic May Be A Race On 2020 Census Despite Critics

In the 1970s, the federal government instituted the word "Hispanic" to get a better handle on a mushrooming demographic group that was multiracial and multiethnic. In spite of criticism, that label stuck.

Now the U.S. Census Bureau is proposing a potentially more controversial change: to collapse two questions on race and ethnicity into one, creating a "Hispanic race" category. Congress won't decide it until 2018, when the wording of the 2020 census is approved. But Latino advocacy groups, scholars and others are criticizing the category as inaccurate, inadequate and ludicrous.

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