- Author: KPBS.org
That majority-minority status is expected to continue for the next 50 years or so — except for one major change. The percentage of whites and Latinos in the population switch, with Latinos making up 48 percent of the population.
UC San Diego researcher Tom Wong wrote the survey. He said it looks at a number of issues including immigration and demographic change.
"We can think about increased diversity as the new normal," Wong said. "Part of the new normal is how society responds."
Wong is among a group of researchers who are interested in understanding how different racial and ethnic groups are faring within American society.
"Historically we've seen trends where communities have responded to immigration very negatively," Wong said. "We need to know, not from the perspective of an outsider looking in, how they feel. We need to hear from individuals themselves."
Wong said knowing how San Diego's Latino population feels will help the broader community have an open, honest dialogue.
All of the 400 survey respondents self-reported that they were Hispanic or Latino.
When asked whether life in San Diego would be better if the city's diverse communities were more integrated, an overwhelming majority, 70 percent, responded yes.
Only about 12 percent of respondents said they felt San Diego is already one of the most diverse and integrated places in the United States.
The majority of respondents, 89 percent, said they had experienced “a little” to “a great deal” of discrimination.
In regards to language, 52.5 percent responded they can speak English and Spanish equally, or speak English and a little or no Spanish
The majority, 58 percent, of survey respondents reported no preference when using the terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" to describe a person of Latin American descent.
Wong said, "When asked, 'how would you describe the average Hispanic/Latino,' respondents gave 212 distinct answers. The most frequent response by far was 'hard worker,' which was mentioned 202 times."
Other commonly used descriptions include "Good, Kind, Caring," "Important," "Family Oriented," and "Determined/Never Gives Up."
"Hard worker" was also the most frequent response (108 times) to a question about how the the average San Diegan would describe the average Latino.
Source: Published originally on KPBS.org as San Diego Latinos surveyed about beliefs, experiences, by Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh, Peggy Pico, November 14, 2013./h3>