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 Providence, 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 Providence increased by 8%, but its composition changed substantially. Latinos had a larger numerical growth than any other group, increasing by 27,164 or 108.7%. Latinos now represent 30% of the population, an increase of 14.5 percentage points and the largest gain of any group. Providence has the largest population of Latinos in Rhode Island and the second largest in the New England states. As a percentage of the total population, the Latino population in Providence ranks second in the state.
Vasquez, Daniel W., "Latinos in Providence, Rhode Island" (2003). Gastón Institute Publications. 99.