Census 2000 data include changes in the way people were counted. The most significant change is to allow persons to select more than one race, creating a new multiracial category of “two or more races,” but meaning people may not be included in the race with which they most identify. There was, however, no way to choose more than one ethnicity; one must choose either Latino or not. Throughout this profile, numbers reflect Latinos of all races, or non-Latinos by race, with persons of two or more races counted separately. All categorizations are based solely on self-identification. All of this complicates comparisons between 1990 and 2000 data. However, the concepts are similar enough to make trends and patterns clear.
In Holyoke, the general population changes from 1990 to 2000 were similar to national and state trends. The population of people of color — African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders — grew at a higher rate than did the population of non-Hispanic Whites, which actually shrank. The total population of Holyoke decreased by 8.8% and its composition changed substantially. Latinos had a larger numerical growth than any other group, increasing by 2,912 or 21.5%, with Blacks or African-Americans, American Indians, and "Some Other Race" all experiencing declines in population. Latinos now represent 41.4% of the population, an increase of 10 percentage points and the largest gain of any group. Holyoke has the sixth largest population of Latinos in Massachusetts and the 16th largest in the New England states. As a percentage of the total population, the Latino population in Holyoke ranks third in the state.
Vasquez, Daniel W., "Latinos in Holyoke, Massachusetts" (2003). Gastón Institute Publications. Paper 93.