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In the below question, should we be looking at comparison between two times in history or comparison between two attributes at different times? Intuitively, we compare between 2 people basing on their different attributes and not the attributes themselves.

A. In California today, Hispanics under the age of eighteen account for more than 43 percent, compared with a decade ago, when it was about 35 percent.

B. Of the Californians under the age of eighteen, today more than 43 percent of them are Hispanic, compared with a decade ago, when it was about 35 percent.

C. Today, more than 43 percent of Californians under the age of eighteen are Hispanic, compared with about 35 percent a decade ago.

D. Today, compared to a decade ago, Californians who are Hispanics under the age of eighteen account for more than 43 percent, whereas it was about 35 percent.

E. Today, Hispanics under the age of eighteen in California account for more than 43 percent, unlike a decade ago, when it was about 35 percent.

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What exactly are you asking? Not all these statements mean the same thing. For example, the first says 43% of all Californians are young Hispanics. But the second says that of all young Californians, 43% are Hispanic, which is a totally different statement. All the rest seem to be clumsy restatements of one or other of the first two. –  FumbleFingers Jul 30 '11 at 4:12
    
...do you simply want to know whether the first sentence should use "compared with" or "compared to"? If that's the case, why not delete all the other statements and ask that? If not, please explain. –  FumbleFingers Jul 30 '11 at 4:19

1 Answer 1

Of the options given, B and C are the only ones that provide proper information regarding what is actually being compared (the percentage of under-18 californians that are hispanic in two time periods). Every other choice leaves you wondering "43 percent of What?"

As far as the question in the title goes, "Compared with" sounds perfectly acceptable in all of these. Generally when using "compared to" for this sort of thing, the amount being compared to would be a baseline amount: "The under-18 hispanic population is up more than 20% compared to last decade; hispanics are now 43% of the under-18, up from 35%."

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