Where are all the Hispanic Statisticians?

It occurred to me today that I could not remember ever meeting another Hispanic statistician and I got to wondering how many Hispanic statisticians there actually are. I started with Google, source of all knowledge. I found a blog post from two years ago that said there were 12 Hispanics out of 15,904 members of the American Statistical Association. Since I am, in fact, a card-carrying member of the ASA ever since four months ago, when I decided it was not your father’s statistical association any more, I thought I would go and see where those figures stand now.

There are a total of 43 records returned when you search the ASA Directory of Minority Statisticians for Hispanic and ASA members. Of those 43, one person is entered twice, two are students, two have addresses outside the United States and one entry has no name listed. Even if we include no-name and the students that leaves us with 40 people. The ASA now has over 18,000 members.

Not to be a snob, but I did not consider people with a bachelor’s degree or still in school to be statisticians. More like statisticians-in-training. So, I refined my search to include only American Statistical Association members with a Ph.D.  There were 17 Hispanics.

Perhaps it is because you have to actually register for the ASA Directory of Minority Statisticians, a fact I was not aware of until today. You aren’t automatically entered just because you checked Hispanic (or anything else) on your membership form. If you have a mad desire to be in the directory you can register here.

So …. are there a whole bunch of Hispanic statisticians out there and they’re just in hiding?

Hidden Statistician

It occurred to me that I have attended numerous statistical conferences and met very, very few Hispanic statisticians.

I met two people who may or may not have been Hispanic. They had Hispanic-sounding surnames but neither of them looked Hispanic (yes, I know, I have watched Telemundo, too. There are plenty of blonde Hispanics. There are also black Hispanics but you don’t see them on TV much.) I didn’t hear either of them speak Spanish, either, not even one word, and that is kind of the secret handshake of Hispanics. You might wonder why I didn’t just ask them, but at the time we were talking about things like mixed models, clustered sampling and parallel processing. I didn’t think about it.

Here are the people at the statistics conferences I attended over the past decade who I knew were Hispanic

  • Me
  • A student who worked for me
  • A co-worker who co-authored a paper with me, on high-performance computing
  • A student from Mexico
  • A really cool guy who was definitely from the U.S. and definitely Hispanic but wasn’t a statistician. He was a recruiter for a – I don’t know, whatever the polite word for headhunter is.


No wonder I’m lonely at these meetings! How about you? Are you a Hispanic statistician in hiding?

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