The removal of the example subgroups caused a spike in the number of people who simply reported identifying as “Spanish/ Hispanic/ Latino,” without writing in a particular country of origin. Since the Census Bureau aims for the most specific information possible, the 2010 question brought back the word “origin” and the example subgroups. It’s nearly identical to the 1990 form, with the notable addition of the word “Latino.”
In 2000, the form added the word “Latino,” and moved the Hispanic question to before its race question. It also dropped the word “origin,” which it had used since 1970, and removed the list of example subgroups.
In 1990, the question eliminated the phrase “or descent,” simply asking, “Is this person of Spanish/ Hispanic origin?” In addition to the same circle options as the Census before it, the form provided a box for a write-in answer to the “Other Spanish/ Hispanic” category. It also provided example write-in answers, including Argentinean, Colombian and Nicaraguan.