Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Portuguese today, Hispanic tomorrow?

Portuguese today, Hispanic tomorrow?

The United States Census Bureau is at it again. Now, they are planning to add Portuguese to the Hispanic classification of ethnicity for the 2020 National Census. This is an important issue to the Portuguese community and to the multiracial community especially for those who have some Portuguese heritage.

Project RACE is working with Portuguese community leaders and The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS) to ensure that the community knows about the Census Bureau plans. It is important that people get involved in this issue now. Planning for the 2020 census has already begun. 

PALCUS is conducting a national survey to answer this question: Should Portuguese be considered Hispanic? Please take the time to fill out the survey at the following link:

The survey thus far has approximately a 75% NO response to the specific question: Do you agree that Portuguese should be added to the Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin category for the Census 2020?

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and let family and friends of Portuguese heritage know about it. We will have much more on this issue very soon. 


  1. What is it about the US Census Bureau that makes them think they can decide
    to put people into whatever category they choose? Portuguese is a
    nationality, the same as Mexican, Spanish, Irish, Italian, Swedish, and so
    on. Why put a nationality UNDER an ETHNICITY? It makes no sense. Oh, that's
    right, I forgot. Census has nothing to do with sense. We urge you to follow
    the link provided above and make your voice heard.

  2. Susan, thanks for letting us know. Thank you for caring enough to alert us now so there is time to stop this before it can take place. This really ticks me off. How dare they stick us under Hispanic?! Who's sticking up for us? Who is representing us? Anyone? Who came up with this lame-brained idea? How could this nonsense possibly reflect an accurate accounting of who lives in the United States? Lumping us in with the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity is certain to put a monkey-wrench into their precious demographics. Did these people just crawl out from under a rock?

  3. The Census Bureau is really showing its biases with this issue. It was on the agenda for The Census Bureau National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations--only the head of the committee didn't know it. Turns out it's of major concern to the Portuguese community, but was placed in the Hispanic working group! What does THAT tell us?!

  4. You might want to petition Webster's Dictionary first. Look at their definition of Hispanic on their on-line site: "of or relating to the people, speech, or culture of Spain or of Spain and Portugal". You really can't argue the point of preventing the Census from doing so if the people who define the English language have already called Portuguese people Hispanic.
    The U.S. Department of Transportation already states that, "Today, organizations in the United States use the term to refer to persons with a historical and cultural relationship either with Spain and Portugal or only with Spain, regardless of race."
    I think we should alteast acknowledge the Census's rational decision, since they did not create this issue out of thin air. Not saying I am for or against, just making an observation.

  5. Gosh, I hope we don't have to be followers of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation! It's ridiculous to base this issue on what they have done. But if you like definitions, consider this long-accepted one: The term Hispanic means "of or relating to, or being a person of Latin American descent living in the U.S.; especially one of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin, and, therefore it does not apply to Portuguese people.

    At this point, the survey shows that approximately 90 percent of response to the survey is NO, Portuguese people are not Hispanic and should not be changed to the Hispanic population by the Census Bureau.