Sonya Rastogi, PhD, Senior Researcher, Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications (CARRA)
Carolyn Liebler, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota
Renuka Bhaskar, Researcher, CARRA
For half a century, the American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population has been notably larger with each new census. Over the decades, this population has grown considerably without corresponding increases in immigration and births. According to demographers who study these increases, cross-time changes in race reporting at the individual level play an important role in the observed net increases.
In ongoing work, we are studying patterns in race and Hispanic origin response changes by people who reported (or were reported by someone else in the household) as AIAN (either alone or in combination with another race) in the 2000 or 2010 censuses. We presented a preliminary version of this research, entitled Dynamics of Race: Joining, Leaving, and Staying in the American Indian/Alaska Native Race Category between 2000 and 2010, at the 2014 annual meetings of the Population Association of America in early May.
This blog is the second in a two part series. Part one provided an overview of our related research on changes in respondent answers to the race and Hispanic origin questions across all race and Hispanic origin groups between 2000 and 2010. As we mentioned in part one, some race and Hispanic origin responses can and do change. These changes are relatively common in the AIAN population.
Our new research on the AIAN population is unique in that we use linked data to look deeper into the net changes in population size and composition. We provide substantial information about previously unseen groups – those who joined or left the AIAN response group, and those who remained AIAN between 2000 and 2010. Using data from the American Community Survey, we document patterns in the characteristics of individuals who were involved in each type of response change.
In preliminary analyses, we found generally similar demographic characteristics in two groups: (a) people who reported (or were reported as) AIAN in the 2000 Census, but not in the 2010 Census, and (b) those who reported (or were reported as) AIAN in the 2010 Census but not the 2000 Census. These two groups are similar despite substantial turnover. We also found that people who retain the same race and Hispanic origin response in both censuses have characteristics that are distinct from those who join or leave the AIAN population.
We expect to release a working paper with detailed results in the coming months.