Census 2000 includes 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 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 Massachusetts, the general population changes from 1990 to 2000 were like national and New England trends. The population of people of color - African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders - all grew at a higher rate than did the population of Non-Hispanic Whites, which actually shrank in the Commonwealth. While the total population increased by 5.5%, its composition changed substantially. Latinos had a larger numerical growth than any other group, adding 141,180 or 49.1%, though both Asians and Others had a higher percent increase. Latinos now represent 6.8% of the population, an increase of 2 percentage points and the largest gain of any group. Massachusetts has the largest population of Latinos in New England and the 12th largest of the 50 states, though as a percent of the total, Massachusetts' Latino population ranks 20th in the nation and 3rd in New England.
Jones, Charles, "Latinos in Massachusetts" (2002). Gastón Institute Publications. 102.