Friday, December 19, 2014

Hispanic Students at UGA

Back in 1998 there were relatively few full-time undergrad Hispanic students at UGA -- 196 to be exact. In Fall 2014 there were 1,076. That's nearly a five-fold increase.

Again, back in 1998, the most a county sent (Fulton) was 32, followed by Gwinnett (30), Cobb (26), DeKalb (18), and Clarke (14).  By 2014, things had obviously changed. The Top 5 are below, with the number of students listed as being Hispanic and the percent of Hispanics to all students from that county.

1. Gwinnett (227, 6.1%)
2. Fulton (165, 4.4%)
3. Cobb (132, 4.8%)
4. DeKalb (53, 4.1%)
5. Clarke (48, 5.4%)

Nearly a quarter of all UGA full-time undergrads from McIntosh County (on the coast) are Hispanic, and 11.3 percent of Coffee County (south Georgia) students -- the only two in double digits. Yes, we're talking relatively small numbers here, thus two or three students can really bump up the percentages. Among the bigger counties, Gwinnett clearly leads both in raw numbers and percentage. About 80 counties sent no Hispanic students to UGA in 2014.

Obviously we know about the population growth among Hispanics in Georgia, so the numbers above should surprise no one. The real way to do this would be to examine the relative Hispanic or Latino populations for each county and see how well they do given their numbers. Take McIntosh County mentioned in the graf above. The latest Census data has it at 1.9 percent Hispanic, but nearly a quarter of its students sent to UGA are Hispanic. We're talking a handful of students, so it's hard to extend the data in any meaningful way, but the larger counties would be worth looking over. Yes, Gwinnett has increased the number and proportion of Hispanics sent to UGA, but is that in proportion to the number of Hispanics that live in that county? Greater than change in Hispanic population? That's why we take more time to do data analysis, because first blushes -- like this one -- can mislead.

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