Pew: 5% of 2019 US Black Population Identifies as Afro-Latino

Mar 25, 2021
1:16 PM

A comprehensive analysis released Thursday by Pew Research said that 5% of the U.S. Black population in 2019 identifies as Afro-Latino, a number that has more than doubled since 2000.

The analysis, called “The Growing Diversity of Black America,” said that of the 46.8 million people who identify as Black, “another 2.4 million, or 5%, self-identified as both Black and Hispanic, or Black Hispanic.” In addition, 8% (3.7 million) identify as multiracial, with 87% (40.7 million) identifying “their race as Black alone and their ethnicity as non-Hispanic.”

“These shares have changed since 2000. Then, 93% identified their race and ethnicity as Black alone,” Pew noted, explaining that in 20010, 1 million people identified as Afro-Latino, 1.5 million identified as multiracial non-Hispanic and 33.7 million identified as Black alone.

The Pew report also noted the following: “The nation’s Black population is changing in other ways too. A growing share are foreign born, the population is aging (though some segments are significantly younger), and a growing share are college graduates.”

The report was based on 2019 data from the American Community Survey (ACS).

In 2015, Pew conducted a survey of Latinos which asked about Afro-Latino identity. In that survey, Pew said that “one-quarter of all U.S. Latinos self-identify as Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean or of African descent with roots in Latin America,” which would suggest that the number of U.S. Latinos who identify as Afro-Latino would be around 12-15 million. However, according to Mark Hugo López, Pew’s Director of Global Migration and Demography Research, that is still unclear.

“We know that how you ask about racial identity can have different results. The Census Bureau’s question asks if someone identifies as ‘Black or African American’ (among other races),” López said in an email to Latino Rebels. “By contrast, our work from 2015 asked about racial identity in a different way by directly asking if someone is Afro-Latino. As a result, our method gets a higher estimate of the number of Black Hispanics or Afro-Latinos. It is likely our latest report about the 2019 U.S. Black population shows an underestimate of the Afro-Latino population size. Even so, it is still informative since people self-identify their racial identity and we can see the characteristics of those who do identify as Black Hispanic in Census Bureau data.”

The full “The Growing Diversity of Black America” report is below, along with a detailed fact sheet.