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The Demography of the Hispanic Population: Selected Essays

reviewed by Kathryn L. Wegner - March 22, 2013

coverTitle: The Demography of the Hispanic Population: Selected Essays
Author(s): Richard R. Verdugo (ed.)
Publisher: Information Age Publishing, Charlotte
ISBN: 1617356808, Pages: 156, Year: 2012
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This short volume of essays on Hispanic demography will prove valuable to researchers of the Hispanic population. Demographic trends expressed quantitatively offer useful statistics for researchers in education, sociology, and population studies. Editor Richard R. Verdugo’s introduction offers an uncritical and basic overview of issues in Hispanic demography. His central question is: “How has the growth of the Hispanic population affected the growth of the U.S. population?” (p. 2).  His introduction then previews the book’s topics of Hispanic fertility trends, push-pull immigration factors, new settlement patterns, and research on Hispanic mortality. The second half is a descriptive analysis of demographic data from multiple databases on the Hispanic population, aided by seven graphs.

The subsequent chapters take on the issues laid out by Verdugo. Chapter Two on migration trends concludes that the “Hispanic population seemed to be becoming more widely dispersed” (p.41).  Chapter Three summarizes research on the so-called Latino paradox, where Latino/as, although statistically more likely to be poor, achieve better health outcomes and lower mortality rates. For educational researchers this will not be surprising, as much research has pointed to the fact that Hispanics’ academic success diminishes as the number of their years in the United States increases, which is briefly mentioned on p. 62.  Chapter Four presents a new analysis of Hispanic adult mortality using the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey Linked Mortality Files (NHANES-LMF) and confirms the field’s consensus that the “overall Hispanic mortality, throughout the life course, is quite favorable—most often lower than that of non-Hispanic Whites and a bit lower than that of non-Hispanic Blacks.” (p. 90).  Chapter Five explores the quandary of statistical disappearance of Hispanics from U.S. Census figures, finding that the shifting identities of U.S.-born Mexican-Americans results in the second-generation self-identifying differently than their parents, a conclusion consistent with similar research. Finally, the authors of Chapter Six on Latino/a baby boomers claim to provide, “for the first time, a detailed overview of the Latino baby boomer cohort,” where they compare boomers’ education, English ability, and income to other Hispanic cohorts historically (p.126). In conclusion, The Demography of the Hispanic Population provides a short overview of issues in simple prose with a bibliography the might be usefully mined. Ultimately, this volume may help students and scholars alike seeking an introduction to issues in Hispanic demography.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: March 22, 2013
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17063, Date Accessed: 10/21/2021 1:22:04 PM

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About the Author
  • Kathryn Wegner
    University of Cambridge
    E-mail Author
    KATHRYN L. WEGNER is a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. Dr. Wegner is a historian of schooling and education, and is currently editing her manuscript titled Progressive Citizenships: Schooling Youth in Immigrant Chicago, 1900-1940.
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