Are predictions that Hispanics will make up 25 per cent of the US population in 2050 reliable? The authors of this paper argue that these and other predictions are problematic insofar as they do not account for the volatile nature of Latino racial and ethnic identifications. In this light, the authors propose a theoretical framework that can be used to predict Latinos’ and Latinas’ racial choices. This framework is tested using two distinct datasets – the 1989 Latino National Political Survey and the 2002 National Survey of Latinos. The results from the analyses of both of these surveys lend credence to the authors’ claims that Latinas’ and Latinos’ skin colour and experiences of discrimination affect whether people from Latin America and their descendants who live in the US will choose to identify racially as black, white or Latina/o.