Abstract

Evidence suggests that among mainland-born decedents, Hispanic (particularly Puerto Rican) origin may have been underreported in states that have added an ancestry item to their death certificates. This study uses the 1980 Census Bureau Spanish-surname list to code surnames on New York City death certificates. By examining the correspondence between surname type and the response to the ancestry item, we identify potential underreporting of Hispanic ethnicity for Spanish-surnamed decedents. A surname-based method then is used to adjust mortality data for mainland-born Puerto Rican decedents.

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