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Portland (Or.) -- Social conditions, Urban policy -- Oregon -- Portland, Census of population and housing (1990), Minorities -- Oregon -- Portland

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18 pages


In the last two years, Portlanders of all backgrounds have begun to pay serious attention to the problems and opportunities created by the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of their metropolitan area. The Oregonian and the broadcast media have focused a number of stories and reports on racial relations and racial tensions. The broad-based strategic planning efforts of the Civic Index project (1989-90) and the Portland Future Focus planning program (1990-91) have pinpointed racial and ethnic relations as one of the central issues that will determine the quality of life in the growing metropolis. The City Club of Portland is preparing a series of reports on "Racial and Ethnic Relations in Portland" with attention to areas such as education, public welfare, law enforcement, and civic participation.

It is important that these discussions are grounded on a solid factual base that answers such fundamental questions as "who" and "where." As a contribution to the discussion, the School of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University has prepared this "census profile" of minority groups in the tri-county Portland area. Despite some well-publicized problems with response rates, the 1990 Census is the most thorough, current, and comprehensive source of information for comparing the characteristics of ethnic groups.

This report summarizes information on four racial groups and one ethnic minority group. The racial groups, to use the census terminology, are "white," "black," "American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut," and "Asian and Pacific Islander." The one ethnic group consists of persons of "Hispanic origin." Since Hispanics may be of any race, members of this group overlap the racial categories. There are strong feelings about the appropriate use of names for racial groups. This report has chosen to use "African-American" for "black" and "Native American" for "American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut."

The information that is reported and analyzed is only a fraction of the data that will ultimately be available from census publications and data tapes. However, it provides a common starting point for pursuing the discussions about equitable relations among racial and ethnic groups that will be so important for Portland's future.


Catalog Number SR021.

A product of the Center for Urban Studies, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University.

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