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Analysis of Latina/o sociodemographic and health data sets in the United States from 1960 to 2019: Findings suggest improvements to future data collection efforts


Introduction. Prior to 1980, U.S. national demographic and health data collection did not identify individuals of Hispanic/ Latina/o heritage as a population group. Post-1990, robust immigration from Latin America (e.g., South America, Central America, Mexico) and subsequent growth in U.S. births, dynamically reconstructed the ethnoracial lines among Latinos from about 20 countries, increasing racial admixture and modifying patterns of health disparities. The increasing racial and class heterogeneity of U.S. Latina/os demands a critical analysis of sociodemographic factors associated with population health disparities. Purposes. To determine the state of available Latina/o population demographic and health data in the United States, assess demographic and health variables and trends from 1960 to the present, and identify current strengths, gaps, and areas of improvement. Method. Analysis of 101 existing data sets that included demographic, socioeconomic, and health characteristics of the U.S. Latina/o population, grouped by three, 20-year intervals: 1960–1979, 1980–1999, and 2000–2019. Results. Increased Latina/o immigration and U.S. births between 1960 and 2019 was associated with increases of Latino population samples in data collection. Findings indicate major gaps in the following four areas: children and youth younger than 18 years, gender and sexual identity, race and mixed-race measures, and immigration factors including nativity and generational status. Conclusions. The analysis of existing ethnoracial Latina/o population data collection efforts provides an opportunity for critical analysis of past trends, future directions in data collection efforts, and an equity lens to guide appropriate community health interventions and policies that will contribute to decreasing health disparities in Latina/o populations. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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