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 Lawrence, the general population changes from 1990 to 2000 were similar to national and state trends, but unique because of Lawrence's large Latino population. Lawrence has the second largest population of Latinos in Massachusetts and the fifth largest in the New England states. However it has the highest proportion of Latinos in both the state and the region. In ten years, Lawrence has gone from majority White to the only city in New England where Latinos are the majority. The total population of Lawrence increased by 2.6%. The population of people of color — African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders — grew while the population of non-Hispanic Whites actually shrank. Latinos had a larger numerical growth than any other group, increasing by 13,782 or 47.1%, although both Asians and Native Americans had a higher percent increase. Latinos now represent 59.7% of the population, an increase of 18.1 percentage points.
Jones, Charles, "Latinos in Lawrence, Massachusetts" (2003). Gastón Institute Publications. 85.