What Is Hispanic Culture


Who is Hispanic?

“>Junta Hispana Hispanic cultural event in Miami hosts a beauty competition with candidates from all around the world. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty Images) ) When it comes to determining who is Hispanic and who is not, the debate has frequently spurred discussions over identity among Americans who trace their ancestors’ roots to Latin America or Spain. Most recently, the 2020 census has brought attention to some of the multiple layers of Hispanic identity, revealing new information on how Hispanics see their racial identity and how they identify with other races.

And how are they tallied in public opinion polls, voting exit polls, and official surveys such as the 2020 census, among other things?

And there’s no one who claims they aren’t.

The American Community Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, includes demographic information such as language usage, country of origin, and intermarriage rates.

  • The National Survey of Latinos, which is conducted in both English and Spanish, is used to inform the Center’s views on Hispanic identity.
  • As a result, practically all adults have an equal chance of being chosen.
  • More information on the ATP’s approach may be found here.
  • Read more about how the United States Census Bureau inquired about race and ethnicity in the 2020 census and how the responses were categorized.
  • The Pew Research Center employs this technique, as does the United States Census Bureau, as well as the vast majority of other research firms that undertake public opinion polls in the country.
  • This is a 19 percent share of the country’s total population, according to the Census Bureau.

Here’s a brief primer on the Census Bureau’s technique of determining someone is Hispanic, which relies on self-identification data.

I immigrated to Phoenix from Mexico. Am I Hispanic?

If you say you are, then you are.

My parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico. Am I Hispanic?

If you say you are, then you are.

My grandparents were born in Spain but I grew up in California. Am I Hispanic?

If you say so, you are.

I was born in Maryland and married an immigrant from El Salvador. Am I Hispanic?

If you say so, you are correct.

One of my great grandparents came to the U.S. from Argentina and settled in Texas. That’s where I grew up, but I don’t consider myself Hispanic. Does the Census Bureau count me as Hispanic?

You aren’t if you don’t admit you are. According to a Pew Research Center poll of U.S. adults, an estimated 5 million persons, or 11 percent, of the 42.7 million adults with Hispanic ancestry living in the United States in 2015 stated that they do not identify as Hispanic or Latino, according to the survey. In polls conducted by the Pew Research Center, these individuals are not classified as Hispanic. When conducting its decennial census, the Census Bureau typically follows a similar strategy.

When it comes to foreign-born people from Latin America, practically all of them self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.

But isn’t there an official definition of what it means to be Hispanic or Latino?

Is it possible to be honest even if you claim not to be? According to a Pew Research Center poll of U.S. adults, an estimated 5 million persons, or 11 percent, of the 42.7 million adults with Hispanic ancestry residing in the country in 2015 stated that they do not identify as Hispanic or Latino, according to the survey. In studies conducted by the Pew Research Center, these individuals are not considered Hispanic. With respect to the decennial census, the Census Bureau typically follows a similar strategy.

When it comes to foreign-born people from Latin America, nearly all of them self-identify as Hispanic or Latin American.

What’s the difference between Hispanic and Latino?

Hispanic and Latino are both pan-ethnic phrases that are used to characterize – and summarize – the population of persons from that ethnic origin who reside in the United States of America. However, the Census Bureau prefers to describe this demographic as “Hispanic,” whereas Pew Research Center prefers to use the words “Hispanic” and “Latino” interchangeably when characterizing this group. The terms Hispanic and Latino have been used to make sharp distinctions between them, with some claiming that Hispanics are people from Spain or from Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America (this excludes Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language), while Latinos are people from Latin America regardless of their language background (this includes Brazil but excludes Spain and Portugal).

Although commonly employed, the “Hispanic” and “Latino” labels are not uniformly accepted by the groups that have been named, despite the fact that they are actively debated in society.

One study indicated that 47 percent of Hispanics define themselves most frequently by the nation of origin of their family; 39 percent describe themselves most frequently as Latino or Hispanic; and 14 percent most frequently describe themselves as American.

Pew Research Center polls of Hispanic individuals, which are performed in both English and Spanish, have revealed minimal change in these findings over the course of almost two decades.

What about “Latinx”?

An alternative pan-ethnic identity name to Hispanic and Latino is “Latinx,” which has arisen in recent years as a viable alternative to Hispanic and Latino. It is used by various news and entertainment sources, companies, municipal governments, and colleges to define the Hispanic population in the United States of America. But the word Latinx is not widely used, and the term’s introduction has sparked controversy about whether it should be used in a language with a gendered gender structure like Spanish.

  1. The phrase is not well-known among the members of the population that it is intended to refer to.
  2. The word is more widely known and used among younger Hispanics than older Hispanics, with young Hispanics ages 18 to 29 among the most likely to have heard of it – 42 percent claim they have heard of it, compared to only 7 percent of those 65 and older.
  3. Interestingly, the rise of Latinx corresponds with a global effort to add gender-neutral nouns and pronouns into many languages whose grammar has historically employed either male or female constructs in order to make them more inclusive.
  4. It was included in a widely used English dictionary in 2018, indicating that it is becoming more frequently used.

How do factors like language, a person’s last name and the background of their parents play into whether someone is considered Hispanic?

It is totally up to the person whether or not he or she choose to identify as Hispanic or not. Our studies of Hispanics in the United States have revealed that many hold an inclusive vision of what it means to be Hispanic. 71 percent of Hispanic individuals answered that speaking Spanish is not essential to be called Hispanic, and 84 percent said that having a Spanish last name is not required to be considered Hispanic, according to a study conducted in 2015. According to a 2019 poll, 32 percent of Hispanic individuals believe that having both parents of Hispanic background or descent is a crucial aspect of what it means to be Hispanic for them.

According to an examination of American Community Survey data, 39 percent of Hispanic newlyweds who were born in the United States married someone who was not Hispanic, compared to 17 percent of immigrants.

According to the results of the Center’s 2015 survey of Hispanic people in the United States, 15 percent had at least one parent who was not Hispanic.

This percentage jumps to 29 percent among those who were born in the United States, and to 48 percent among those who were born in the United States with both parents who were also born in the United States.

The Census Bureau also asks people about their race. How do these responses come into play when determining if someone is Hispanic?

In most cases, they don’t. Hispanics can be of any race in the perspective of the Census Bureau since “Hispanic” is an ethnicity rather than a race – though this difference can be open to discussion – and so can be of any race. According to a 2015 poll, 17 percent of Hispanic individuals believe that being Hispanic is primarily a matter of race, while 29 percent believe that it is primarily a matter of lineage and 42 percent believe that it is primarily a factor of cultural heritage. A large number of Hispanics may feel that the current census categories do not adequately represent their sense of racial identity.

With 12.6 million people, Whites were the second most numerous single-race group, followed by American Indians (1.55 million), Blacks (1.25 million), and Asians (1.2 million) (300,000).

The rise in the number of multiracial Latinos might be attributed to a variety of causes, including modifications to the census form that make it easier for persons to identify with several races and the increasing racial diversity among Latinos themselves.

At the same time, the number of Latinos who identify as White and do not identify with any other race has decreased from 26.7 million to 12.6 million, representing a 16% decrease.

Can a person’s country of origin or ancestry affect whether or not they are Hispanic?

Hispanics can come from any nation of origin or have any ancestors from any country, just like any other race. Because of this, there are a variety of patterns that change depending on where individuals originate from and how they choose to identify themselves on census surveys. Among other things, according to a Pew Research Center examination of the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, virtually all immigrants from various Latin American and Caribbean nations identified themselves as Hispanic.

As opposed to this, 93 percent of immigrants from Argentina and Paraguay stated that they were satisfied with their lives, as did 91 percent of immigrants from Spain and 86 percent of immigrants from Panama.

What about Brazilians, Portuguese and Filipinos? Are they considered Hispanic?

The official definition of “Hispanic” in the United States does not include those with ancestors in Brazil, Portugal, or the Philippines, because those nations do not speak Spanish in the United States. Those who can trace their ancestry to these nations are not generally considered Hispanic by the Census Bureau, mostly because the vast majority of them do not identify as Hispanic when they complete their census forms. According to the 2019 American Community Survey, just roughly 2 percent of immigrants from Brazil do so, as do 1 percent of immigrants from Portugal and 1 percent of immigrants from the Philippines.

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The Hispanic population among Brazilian immigrants was 18 percent in 1980, while the Hispanic population among Portuguese and Filipino immigrants was 12 percent.

Independent checks, corroborations, and corrections are not conducted on the information provided on census forms by the general public.

As a result, someone who has no Hispanic ancestry may theoretically self-identify as Hispanic, and their ethnicity would be taken into account when calculating the total.

Has the Census Bureau changed the way it counts Hispanics?

The first year the Census Bureau questioned everyone in the country about their Hispanic ethnicity was in 1980, according to the Bureau of the Census. The Census Bureau attempted to count persons who would now be deemed Hispanic at the time, but it was unsuccessful. For example, in the 1930 census, an attempt was made to count Hispanics as part of the race inquiry, which included a box for “Mexican.” It was in 1970 that the first serious attempt to determine the number of the nation’s Hispanic population was made, which prompted considerable worry among Hispanic groups that the population had been underestimated.

This method had some drawbacks, one of which being an undercount of around 1 million Hispanics.

Also as a result of the way the question was worded, some hundred thousand persons residing in the Southern or Central parts of the United States were incorrectly classified as belonging to the “Central or South American” group.

For example, in 2000, the adjective “Latino” was added to the query, resulting in the question reading, “Is this individual Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?” In recent years, the Census Bureau has investigated an alternate technique to counting Hispanics that mixes questions about Hispanic origin and race with questions on race and ethnicity.

It is important to note that this piece was initially published on May 28, 2009, by Jeffrey S.

Since then, it has been revised on a number of occasions.

Hispanic Culture – Latin American Culture – Spanish Culture

What exactly does the phrase “Hispanic Culture” mean? Before I go into detail about what Hispanic or Latino culture is, let me define culture first. Culture is derived from the Latin culture, which is derived from the verbcolereorto cultivate. Different people use the term culture in different ways, but it is usually understood to refer to the collection of values, norms, beliefs, art, music, and customs that a given community holds in common. Let’s define what it means to be Hispanic. It was originally used to denote a connection to ancient Hispania, the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula, and it is still in use today.

  • It is used to refer to the culture and people of nations in Latin America that use Spanish as their primary language.
  • As a result, Hispanic America is comprised of the countries of Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries.
  • Is the term Latino synonymous with the term Hispanic?
  • When referring to persons of Latin American descent, the term Latino, short for Latinoamericano (Latin American in Spanish), is used.
  • Some nations, such as Brazil and Haiti, are also regarded to be part of Latin America, despite the fact that Spanish is not their predominant language of communication.

Latin America, on the other hand, is made up of countries where Romance languages (those descended from Latin) constitute the major language spoken. Spanish, French, and Portuguese are examples of Romance languages.

So what is Hispanic Culture?

Culture of the Hispanic or Latino people is comprised of the traditions, language, idioms, religious beliefs and practices of the people of the Hispanic or Latino origins, legends, arts, music, literature, gastronomy, history, social and familial values of the people of the Hispanic or Latino origin. Some individuals use the phrases Hispanic culture and Spanish culture interchangeably when referring to cultures from Latin America. They are, however, referring to two different things: Hispanic culture is comprised of the traditions and practices of individuals who have Latin American ancestors and whose predominant language is Spanish, as defined by the United Nations.

Hispanic Holidays

The festivals and rituals of Latino culture are many. Some are more traditional than others, yet they all contribute to the preservation of our culture. Hispanic holidays also provide us with a chance to strengthen our bonds with our families, friends, and members of our community. Furthermore, many would argue that they provide us with the ideal reason to have a party. From the religious to the patriotic and from the popular to the unusual, there is a vast variety of Hispanic holidays. The following are some major Hispanic holidays:

Religious Celebrations

Many aspects of the many “Hispanic cultures,” including these religious observances, are shared by all of the distinct “Hispanic cultures.” Happy Holidays! (Christmas) Christmas is one of the most important religious festivities for Hispanics, just as it is for many other communities throughout the world. The important role played by the “nacimiento” is one of the distinctive characteristics of a “Latino” Christmas (the nativity scene). Santa Semana (Holy Week) (Holy Week) This is also another major and intensely religious celebration in the Hispanic tradition.

It should come as no surprise that some of the most noteworthy events of Holy Week take place in Latin American nations, such as Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Special Observances

The following are some of the most common holidays observed by Hispanics. Some festivals, such as Hispanic Heritage Month, are solely recognized in the United States, while others are observed worldwide.

  • 1st of May – Da del Trabajo
  • 5th of May – Cinco de Mayo
  • 1st of May – Da de las Madres
  • 15th of September – 15th of October – Hispanic Heritage Month

Explore more.

A full list of holidays celebrated by Hispanics may be found on the Hispanic Holidays page.

Hispanic Traditions

It is the customs of my culture that have provided me with some of my fondest childhood memories. Quinceanera parties were a highlight of my childhood, which I vividly recall. The pomp and circumstance of these occasions delighted me. Another popular event was the Carnaval, which was held in honor of Our Lady of Peace and was attended by thousands of people (the patron virgin of my native city of San Miguel, El Salvador). That was unquestionably a large gathering! These are some of the most prominent and widely practiced Latino traditions:

  • The Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos)
  • El Difunto de los Difuntos
  • The Quince Aos celebration
  • Las Maanitas (Happy Birthday song)
  • And other holidays and celebrations

This is only a small selection of the many Hispanic festivals and customs available.

Throughout this website, you will learn about a variety of interesting topics.


Hispanic Traditions- A lighthearted look at some of the most prominent Latino customs and traditions. Continue away from Hispanic Culture and back to the Explore Hispanic Culture home page.

Traditions deeply rooted in Hispanic culture

“The Hispanic culture is a treasure trove of traditions. New Mexico is a fantastic illustration of how we distinguish ourselves from other places.” Hear it from the mouth of Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of New Mexico, who pointed to the wide range of customs that are most prominently shown during National Hispanic Heritage Month. “You have the ability to create new traditions or alter old traditions. It doesn’t matter whether there is a good purpose; as we evolve, so do our customs.” – Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, vice president for student affairs at the University of New Mexico


the word curanderismokoo-rahn dees-mohnoun is pronounced curanderismokoo-rahn-de-r ees-mohnoun During National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, Americans commemorate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors originated in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Celebrar is a Spanish word that means “to celebrate.” Torres explained that many of the rituals that are still practiced today date back to 1519, when the Spanish arrived in what is now known as the United States and Native American and European cultures began to merge.

“A lot of those rich, Hispanic traditions have made their way over to New Mexico,” says the author.

In addition, the vice president for Student Affairs promotes, writes about, and teaches about curanderismo, which is one of the most powerful traditions known to Hispanic culture.

‘I grew up with it, and my instructor, known as Chenchito, was originally from Mexico; I was his pupil for more than three decades.’ Known as curanderisme, it is the art and practice of traditional medicine that derives from the Latin term curar, which means “to heal.” Traditional native healers known as “Acuranderoorcurandera” may be found in Latin America, Southern Europe, and the United States.

Dedicated to administering medicines for mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual diseases,” the curandero devotes his or her life to this task.

We no longer rely on curanderos as much in this country, but there are other countries in Mexico and Latin America where people value the knowledge of traditional healers and in some cases, they are the only doctors available to them,” Torres explained.

“Sometimes they are the only doctors available to them,” Torres added. Traditions that are more well known

  • This custom is described by the New Mexico Department of Tourism as “a Mexican celebration that dates back hundreds of years, Da de los Muertosoriginated with the Mexica.” Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the festival was held throughout the summer months. Later, it was shifted to the fall to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day, which are all held on the same day. Families and friends gather over many days to pray for and remember friends and family members who have passed away, as well as to assist them in their spiritual journey.” In New Mexico, mariachi music is particularly popular at weddings and other celebrations
  • A traditional mariachi group may consist of as many as eight violins, two trumpets, and at least one guitar, which may include a high-pitched violin called a viola and an electric bass guitar known as a guitarron.” Pilgrimage to Chimayo: Thousands of people travel to El Santuario de Chimayo, a tiny community in northern New Mexico during Holy Week to pray and commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. As described by the New Mexico Explorer, the tradition is characterized by “generations of American Indians, Hispanics, and other religious believers traveling to the site of El Santuario to ask for healing for themselves and others, and to offer prayers of petition and thanksgiving for favors received.” Tamales: A traditional holiday Mesoamerican food consisting of maize-cased masa and cooked in a corn husk, tamales are a typical holiday Mesoamerican cuisine. Tamales can be loaded with a variety of ingredients, including meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and chile. Tamales were also regarded sacred since they were supposed to be the meal of the gods. All of the ancient civilizations of the Americas deemed themselves “people of corn,” and tamales played a significant role in their rites and celebrations.”
  • The illumination of luminarias or farolitos is as follows: According to the New Mexico Department of Tourism, “Prior to the 1872 invention of flat-bottomed paper bags, prior to the widespread availability of votive candles, and prior to the widespread availability of electricity and strings of ‘icicle lights,’ New Mexicans marked the paths to their doors and the local church with small, bonfires on Christmas Eve — symbolically lighting the way for the Holy Family.
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I believe that younger generations are beginning to regain their culture and traditions that have been lost in the past several decades,” Torres remarked. “I believe that variety has always existed, but I believe that people’s feeling of pride in who they are and what their specific culture and traditions give to the world is growing much stronger.” Storytelling Torres and I exchanged stories about our lives, families, and traditions, ranging from our first experiences celebrating Da de los Muertos to the smell of tamales wafting through Hispanic homes during the holidays.

  1. This is perhaps one of the most important traditions, as demonstrated by our exchange.
  2. “Telling stories was one of the most significant rituals in my family while I was growing up,” he recalled fondly.
  3. We appear to have lost sight of this because we are too riveted to the television and to our phones.
  4. “I usually advise folks to make up their own customs,” Torres stated of his advice.
  5. Even in traditional medicine, individuals are beginning to perform rituals in a little different way, which is perfectly acceptable.

Hispanic Cultures

In common usage, phrases such as Hispanic and Latino are widely used as a descriptive umbrella to refer to any American whose ancestors include individuals of Spanish, Mexican, Central or South American descent, as well as those of other ethnicities. However, despite the fact that the term “Hispanic” may be found in literature dating back at least twenty centuries, its formal entrance into the current language has only occurred in the last few decades. It is defined as somebody with linguistic or cultural antecedents in either Latin America or Spain, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

This group is more correctly referred to as a mosaic of cultures, which is more true in its description.

This group, for example, represents the whole racial range.

The variety extends beyond ethnicity and culture to include customs, family history, habits, and social position.

These differences will have an impact on health since they are firmly ingrained. As a result, it is important to use caution when drawing sweeping generalizations about the Hispanic/Latino community.


The progenitors of today’s Hispanics arrived at the coasts of the New World by a variety of different paths. Over five centuries have passed since Christopher Columbus first set foot on the island that would become known as Puerto Rico. Beginning with Spanish colonies in Mexico and what is now the southern and southwestern United States, European colonization of North America was initiated. Despite the fact that Hispanics in the United States are mostly concentrated in the West, Southwest, and New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Florida, and Puerto Rico, they have become a vital part of state populations across the country.

  • Because of its relative youth and quick expansion, the Hispanic population in the early twenty-first century will overtake African Americans as the greatest ethnic minority in the United States, displacing them as the nation’s largest ethnic minority.
  • Hispanics accounted for around 32.5 million people in the United States in 2000, accounting for 11.8 percent of the population.
  • When it comes to Latin American people in Canada, the number of people classed as such in 1996 was 176,975.
  • In the years after its declaration of independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico proceeded to actively colonize its northern region, which stretched from California to Texas, and as far north as southern Wyoming.
  • Over the past 150 years, Mexico has served as a significant entry point for those seeking asylum in the United States of America.
  • Central and South Americans are included.
  • In the United States, Central and South Americans have established themselves in a variety of regions, with the most notable being California, New York City (New Jersey and New Jersey), and Florida (Florida).

In 1999, Central and South Americans accounted for 14.3 percent of the Hispanic population in the United States.

Over the past century, another important source of Hispanic Americans has been the island of Puerto Rico, which was surrendered to the United States following the Spanish-American War in 1898.

A huge influx of Puerto Ricans to the United States mainland began after World War II ended, with the majority settling in New York City.

Individuals from Puerto Rico made up 9.6 percent of the Hispanic population in the United States in 1999.

Cuban communities in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and New York City stretch back to the early 1900s, but the mass exodus from the island began in 1959, following Fidel Castro’s ascension to the presidency of the United States of America.

The Cuban immigrants who arrived during this time period were primarily from the upper and middle classes, which provided them with a significantly different immigration experience than those who arrived from Mexico and Puerto Rico at the same time.

The second large departure, which totaled 125,000 persons in 1980, was mostly comprised of Cuba’s working-class population. Cuban Americans constituted around 4% of the Hispanic population in the United States in 1999.


The relative youth of the Hispanic population is one of the most remarkable demographic effects on the country. As a whole, Hispanic Americans were 26.1 years old on average in 1999, compared to the broader population’s median age of 36. A closer look, however, reveals that the ages of Hispanic demographic groupings differ significantly from one another. The median ages of Mexican Americans (24.2) and Puerto Ricans (27.5) were the lowest, while the median ages of Cuban Americans were significantly higher than the national average (41.3).

  • This difference in age structure among ethnic groups explains disparities in the incidence of chronic diseases that affect the elderly more than the younger.
  • As a result, because the age profile of the Cuban-American population is more similar to that of non-Hispanic whites, the prevalence of major illnesses among these two groups are comparable.
  • Example: The availability of health insurance and access to care are both directly related to one’s socioeconomic position.
  • Poverty rates among Hispanics were more than three times greater than poverty rates among non-Hispanic white households (25.6 percent versus 8.2 percent ).
  • Among Hispanic individuals aged twenty-five and older in 1999, 56.1 percent had completed high school, compared to 87.7 percent of non-Hispanic white adults of the same age group.


Hispanics have lower total disease mortality rates than non-Hispanics, and their rates of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer are significantly lower than those of non-Hispanics. Diabetes, on the other hand, is a leading cause of death among the Hispanic population. Cardiovascular Disease is a medical condition that affects the heart and blood vessels. Despite the fact that cardiovascular disease is on the rise among Hispanics, the mortality rate from this illness is significantly lower for Hispanics than for non-Hispanics.

  • According to these research, heart disease death rates among Mexican-American men are lower than those among non-Hispanic white men.
  • Hispanics have lower overall cancer rates than non-Hispanics, as well as lower rates for the main cancer sites—lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal—than non-Hispanics.
  • Hispanic women have a 30 to 50% lower incidence of breast cancer than white women.
  • Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans have incidence rates that are equivalent to those of non-Hispanic white men.
  • Hispanics are more likely than other ethnic groups to get malignancies of the cervix, stomach, gallbladder, and liver.
  • Diabetes.
  • This has been demonstrated in particular research including Mexican Americans, who have a two- to three-fold increased risk of developing type II diabetes mellitus compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Type II diabetes mellitus affects around 15 percent of Mexican-American people in the state of Texas. Diabetic complications in Hispanics are particularly concerning because diabetes is one of the most common and deadly illnesses afflicting this demographic.


Large-scale generalizations about the Hispanic community are difficult and, in many circumstances, useless because of the variety of the Hispanic people’s origin, culture and sociodemographic features. This variety has an influence on the health of Hispanic groups, as seen by the broad range of incidence and death rates for the major chronic illnesses among Hispanic communities. Also of importance is the fact that it has far-reaching ramifications for knowledge, attitudes, and actions across a broad range of health conditions.

Amelie G.

Lucina Suarez is a model and actress (see also:Cultural Appropriateness; Cultural Identity; Ethnocentrism; and articles on specific diseases mentioned herein)


“Epidemiology of Type 2 Diabetes: Risk Factors,” by S. M. Haffner, published in 1998. Diabetes Care21:Suppl. 3 has been published. editors: Miller, B A., Kolonel, L. N., and Bernstein, L. et al (1996). 1988–1992: Racial/ethnic Patterns in Cancer in the United States. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. NIH Publication No. 96–4104. Available at In this paper, Blangero (I), Stern (M P), and MacCluer (J W) examine the relationship between adipose tissue and adipose tissue-derived adipose tissue (Adipose tissue-derived adipose tissue) (1999).

149, no.


Available at

What Is the Difference Between Hispanic and Latino?

Were you ever curious as to what the distinction was between the labels Hispanic and Latino? While Hispanic is normally used to refer to persons who have a background in a Spanish-speaking nation, Latino is primarily used to refer to those who have a background in a country that speaks Spanish. Any person, regardless of their ethnicity or background, can claim one of these identities. Researchers and publishers (including the United States Census Bureau) have no disagreements on how individuals identify themselves.

It is easier to get that knowledge if you grasp the history of the Hispanic and Latino labels as well as what they signify, how they are used, and how individuals self-identify.

Hispanic vs. Latino

As with the labels White, Black, and Asian, you may conceive of Hispanic and Latino as racial groups that are described by the phrases Hispanic and Latino. Hispanics and Latinos, on the other hand, are a diversified collection of people who come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The phrases “Hispanic” and “Latino” are used to refer to ethnicity, culture, and ethnic identity, respectively.

They are culturally based groupings rather than groups based on skin color, race, or other physical characteristics. However, the groupings are more diverse than they are ethnically defined, which might make the words difficult to understand.


Hispanic is a term used to describe persons who speak Spanish or who have a family history in a nation that speaks Spanish. For the purposes of this definition, Hispanic refers to the language that a person speaks or that their ancestors speak. Some Hispanic individuals speak Spanish, while others do not. As a result, people who identify as Hispanic might come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and come from a variety of places. For example, a person from the Dominican Republic and a person from Mexico may both identify as Hispanic since they both speak the same language and both have a history of Spanish colonization in common with one another.


Latino, on the other hand, refers to geography: particularly, individuals from Latin America, which includes Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, as well as the rest of the world. Being Latino, like being Hispanic, has nothing to do with your color; Latinos might be White, Black, Indigenous, Asian, or any other race. In the case of non-Spanish-speaking nations, however, it is crucial to note that there is considerable debate regarding whether people in the Caribbean genuinely identify as Latinos.

  1. Jamaica, a country with an English-speaking population, is not often considered to be a part of Latin America, and Jamaicans do not tend to identify as Latinos either.
  2. The term “Latino” refers to a person who is Hispanic and also happens to be Latino, however this is not always the case.
  3. A person who is Latino may or may not be Hispanic, depending on their background.
  4. People who are both Black and Latino frequently refer to themselves as Afro-Latino, although some Black people of Latin American heritage do not identify with the Latino/Hispanic labels at all.
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Differences by Geographical Area

There are also regional variations in the use of the phrases Hispanic and Latino depending on where you live. The word Hispanic is more commonly used in rural regions in locations like Texas and New Mexico, whereas the term Latino is more commonly used in metropolitan areas and along the coast. There are, however, certain exceptions to this general rule. According to the state of Florida, the term Hispanic is largely preferred and is more often used.


While the names Hispanic and Latino have been used for centuries, it wasn’t until they were included in the United States Census that they gained widespread acceptance. The census is used by the government to gather information on many elements of the population. There was a shared theme of poverty and prejudice among Mexican Americans in the southwest and Puerto Ricans on the east coast of the United States throughout the 1960s, and this subject continued into the 1970s. While the government first saw these as regional concerns, the coming together of Latino communities across the country to address these issues resulted in a shift in perception as well as a shift in classification methods for the government.

This was the first time such a question had been included.

The term Latino was first used in the United States Census in 2000 as an option for ethnicity.

Through the use of these labels, the government is able to precisely categorize and detect patterns across different cultures, which is important for public policy reasons.

Media and Popular Culture

Popular culture and the media have played an important role in bringing the Hispanic and Latino communities together and popularizing these groups further as a result of their common experiences. This knowledge is reflected in Spanish-language media such as ads, television shows, publications, websites, news stations, and social media profiles. In general, the word Latino appears to be preferred by the media, maybe because Hispanic tends to relate primarily to language, whereas Latino is more inclusive and refers to people, music, and culture, among other things.

Latinxis a name that has evolved as an alternative to Latino and Hispanic that is inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and women.


In accordance with the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Hispanic Americans believe that their Hispanic heritage is a component of their racial heritage. Those who identify as Hispanic or Latino, on the other hand, may have a different conception of race or ethnicity than those who identify as other races or ethnicities. There are also distinctions in how people self-identify within the Hispanic or Latino group, which are discussed more below. For example, Black individuals may identify as Afro-Latino or Afro-Caribbean, depending on their ethnic background.

When to Use Each Term

What criteria do you employ to choose when to utilize which term? While it is true that the phrases Hispanic and Latino may foster a sense of belonging and shared history among individuals who identify as such, putting one of these identities on another person is counterproductive. As a substitute, it is preferable to respect whatever name a person chooses for themselves, or to avoid labels completely if that is their desire. In general, there are a variety of distinct ways in which a Hispanic/Latino person can identify themselves (or, conversely, they may not have a preferred method of identifying):

  • Hispanic
  • sLatino/Latina
  • sLatinx
  • A person’s country of origin (for example, “Salvadoran” from El Salvador or “Colombian” from Colombia)
  • By their ethnicity (for example, “Salvadoran” from El Salvador or “Colombian” from Colombia)
  • “My family is from El Salvador,” or “I am Salvadoran-American,” is used to describe first-generation people whose families are from a nation other than the United States. “American” is also used to describe people who are not born in the United States.

In general, it’s preferable not to inquire about someone’s ethnicity unless they specifically request it or bring it up themselves. For others, this means that they are a foreigner, despite the fact that they may have resided in the United States their whole lives. Furthermore, if someone is attempting to impose a label on you that you find unsettling, you have the right to select your own identity instead of accepting theirs.

A Word From Verywell

Despite the fact that the terms Hispanic and Latino are commonly used interchangeably, they have distinct connotations. Individuals who are Spanish-speaking or who have a family history in a Spanish-speaking nation are referred to be Hispanic. Latino is a term used to describe people who are from, or have a connection to, a Latin American country.

Rather than being anchored in racial categories, these phrases cover culture, ethnicity, and identity, and they are rooted on shared cultures rather than racial categories. When referring to a specific individual using one of these words, always remember to take into consideration their choice.

Hispanic & Latino American Diversity Cultural Information

Hispanic and Latino are terms that, while sometimes used interchangeably, signify different things. Individuals who are Spanish-speaking or who have a family history in a Spanish-speaking nation are referred to as Hispanic or Latino. People who are from or have a history in a Latin American country are known as Latinos. Rather than being anchored in racial classifications, these concepts cover culture, ethnicity, and identity, all of which are rooted in common cultural heritages. When referring to a specific individual using one of these names, always remember to take into consideration their preferred term for them.


For centuries before the arrival of English immigration in North America, the Spanish had explored, colonized, and claimed territory in what is now California and Florida, respectively. Later, the United States acquired territory claimed by Mexico that are now in the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and California, resulting in the formation of the United States of America. Over 14 percent of the population of the United States is descended from Latin American immigrants, and this ethnic group is the fastest growing in Utah and the surrounding states.

Despite the fact that around 80 percent of Latinos in Utah are from Mexico, numerous other countries are represented in the state.

Notable Events

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5th. Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla, Mexico, on May 5, 1862, is commemorated on this day. Despite the fact that this is not an official holiday in the United States, many individuals observe it on this occasion. Teachers who desire to commemorate this event might do so by using lesson ideas that are available. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in October. The countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their independence on September 15th.


Educators must take into consideration that Hispanic students come from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, with origins in more than 20 countries in Central and South America. The family is the foundation of Hispanic life, and involving the family as much as possible in the educational process will not only benefit the student, but will also increase the likelihood of future educational success.Educators must account for the diversity of Hispanic students.

About the Hispanic Population and it’s Origin

When collecting and reporting statistics, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the United States mandates that federal agencies utilize a minimum of two ethnicities: Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino, according to the OMB. OMB defines “Hispanic or Latino” as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of ethnicity, who is of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or other Spanish culture or heritage. People who classify themselves as Hispanic or Latino on the decennial census questionnaire and various Census Bureau survey questionnaires – “Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano,” “Puerto Rican,” or “Cuban,” for example – as well as those who indicate that they are of “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin” are considered to be “Hispanic” or “Latino” by the Census Bureau.

It was meant for respondents who did not identify as Hispanic to fill out the first response category.

The remaining response categories (“Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano”; “Puerto Rican”; “Cuban”; and “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin”), as well as write-in answers, can be combined to form the OMB category of Hispanic (see table below).

Products by Hispanic Origin and Race

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has set rules that state that race and Hispanic origin (also known as ethnicity) are two different and distinct categories. Federal government entities in the United States must comply to these standards. These norms, in general, represent a social definition of race and ethnicity that is widely accepted in this nation, and they do not correspond to any biological, anthropological, or genetic criteria in any way. “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino,” respectively, are the two bare minimum categories for data on ethnicity in the standards: The race of those who identify as Hispanic does not matter; those who identify as Hispanic are clearly defined in our data sets.

  • Annual population estimates by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin are prepared for the entire country, as well as for individual states and counties. The Archive Files provide information about historical events as well. Population projections for the United States are provided by race and Hispanic origin through 2060
  • The Current Population Survey (CPS)provides national-level data on the social, economic, and demographic characteristics of selected race groups, both current and historical
  • And the U.S. Census Bureau provides population projections for the United States through 2060 by race and Hispanic origin through 2060. The Hispanic population in the United States is also represented in tables, both current and historical
  • The American Community Survey (ACS) provides sample data from 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year estimates based on population size
  • And the American Community Survey (ACS) provides sample data from the American Community Survey (ACS). Using the Selected Population Profiles, you can choose characteristics based on race or ethnic group (Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc.) as well as country of birth
  • Data on race and the Hispanic population from the 2010 and 2000 decennial censuses, as well as data from the 1990 decennial census, are also available. The American FactFinder may be used to retrieve data from the 2010 and 2000 Censuses, respectively. Those concepts are described in detail in the 2010 Census briefOverview of Racial and Hispanic Origin
  • It also includes information on how the race categories used in the 2010 Census were created.

Data on Hispanic Subgroups Other Than Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban

The American Community Survey (ACS) has information on these subpopulations. The Hispanic-origin question in the survey questionnaire resulted in write-in replies from Hispanic subgroups other than the large groupings of Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans, as seen by the number of responses to the Hispanic-origin question. In addition, people of different Hispanic backgrounds (such as Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, and Argentineans) were able to write in the language of their unique origin group (for example.

In American Factfinder, you may discover 1-year estimates for areas with a population of 65,000 or more, 3-year estimates for areas with a population of 20,000 or more, and 5-year estimates for areas with a population of 65,000 or more.

In the decennial census, we take a similar technique to data collection.

The Census Bureau now provides statistics on geographical regions that are smaller than those reported in the ACS.

Race and Ethnicity Research

In order to enhance the quality of questions and data on race and ethnicity, the Census Bureau has conducted extensive study for many years. In order to explore and enhance the form and function of different questions, the Census Bureau has undertaken content tests since the 1970s, which have included questions on race and ethnicity and other topics. For the most up-to-date information on Race and Ethnicity Research, please see the following:

Contact Us

In order to obtain additional information, please contact the Census Call Center at (toll free) 1-800-923-8282 or go toask.census.gov for more information.

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