Hispanic and Latino Americans

Hispanic and Latino Americans

Infobox ethnic group
group = Hispanic and Latino Americans
"estadounidenses hispanos y latinos"
poptime = Hispanic and Latino Americans
45,427,437cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-ds_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G2000_B03002&-redoLog=true&-geo_id=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en&-SubjectID=15233308 |title=B03002. Hispanic or Latino Origin by Race |work=2007 American Community Survey |accessdate=2008-09-25 |publisher=United States Census Bureau]
15.1% of the U.S. population (2007)

Mabel AlvarezCesar E. ChavezZoe SaldanaRomualdo Pacheco
Franklin Chang-DiazIsabel AllendeJoseph A. UnanueMarcelo Balboa

popplace = predominantly Southwestern United StatesFloridaIllinoisNew York City
langs = predominantly American English and Spanish
rels = predominantly Roman CatholicismProtestantismJudaismIslam [cite news |url=http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2007-02/2007-02-09-voa33.cfm?CFID=272180952&CFTOKEN=13104838 |title=More Hispanic Americans are Converting to Islam |accessdate=2008-04-28 |author=Steve Mort |date=February 09, 2007 |publisher=Voice of America]
related = Latin Americans, Spaniards, and others

Hispanic and Latino Americans are Americans of Hispanic or Latino descent, which comprises ancestry or origins in Hispanic America, or in Spain in many cases.cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/home/en/epss/glossary_h.html#hispanic_or_latino_origin |title=American FactFinder Help: Hispanic or Latino origin |publisher=United States Census Bureau |accessdate=2008-10-05 |quote=For Census 2000, American Community Survey: People who identify with the terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 or ACS questionnaire - "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" - as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino." Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.

1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Caribbean, or those identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, etc. Origin can be viewed as ancestry, nationality, or country of birth of the person or person's parents or ancestors prior to their arrival in the United States.] [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/home/en/epss/glossary_e.html |title=American FactFinder Help: Ethnic groups |publisher=United States Census Bureau |accessdate=2008-04-27] cite web|url=http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/1997standards.html|title=Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. Federal Register Notice October 30, 1997|accessdate = 2008-01-11|author=Office of Management and Budget|]

Hispanics and Latinos constitute 15.1% of the total United States population, or 45.4 million people, forming the second largest ethnic group after non-Hispanic White Americans (itself composed of dozens of ethnic groups). Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Colombian Americans, Dominican Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, and Salvadoran Americans are some of the Hispanic and Latino American sub-groups.

People of Hispanic or Latino heritage have lived continuouslycite web |url=http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/10009021.html |title=Latino Legacies |accessdate=2008-04-28 |last=Small |first=Lawrence M |date=2002-08-01 |work=Smithsonian Magazine |publisher=Smithsonian Institution |quote=There was a Hispanic presence on the continent for more than 200 years before 13 colonies on the eastern coast declared their independence from England ... By 1607, when the British established their first successful settlement, at Jamestown, Virginia, writes historian Bernard Bailyn, "Spain’s American dominion extended nearly 8,000 miles, from Southern California to the Straits of Magellan...] cite web |url=http://www.ci.st-augustine.fl.us/visitors/history_fullprint.html |title=A Brief History of St. Augustine |accessdate=2008-04-28 |publisher=City of St. Augustine |quote=Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the United States. Forty-two years before the English colonized Jamestown and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish established at St. Augustine this nation's first enduring settlement.] cite web |url=http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/jb_date.cgi?day=08&month=09 |title=A Spanish Expedition Established St. Augustine in Florida |accessdate=2008-04-28 |work=America's Library |publisher=Library of Congress |quote=On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés landed on the shore of what is now called Matanzas Bay and began the founding of the Presidio of San Agustin. Later the settlement would be called St. Augustine, Florida. Built on the site of an ancient Native American village, and near the place where Ponce de Leon, the European discoverer of Florida, landed in 1513 in search of the legendary Fountain of Youth, it has been continually inhabited since its founding.] cite web |url=http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1565staugustine.html |title=The Founding of St. Augustine, 1565 |accessdate=2008-04-28 |author=Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales |work=Modern History Sourcebook |publisher=Fordham University] in the territory of the present-day United States since the 1565 founding of St. Augustine, Florida by the Spanish, the longest among European American ethnic groups and second-longest of all U.S. ethnic groups, after American Indians. Hispanic communities have also been living continuously in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and California since the 18th century. [cite web |url=http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/modules/mex_am/chronology.html |title=Documents in Mexican American History |accessdate=2008-06-11 |publisher=University of Houston] [cite web |url=http://web.nmsu.edu/~publhist/ccintro.htm |title=Cuartocentennial of Colonization of New Mexico |accessdate=2008-06-11 |publisher=New Mexico State University]

For the U.S. government and others, Hispanic or Latino identity is voluntary, as in the United States Census, and in some market research. [cite web |url=http://hispanic-research.com/home/who_are_they.htm |title=Who are they? |accessdate=2008-04-28 |publisher=Hispanic Research Inc.]


In the United States, "Hispanic" and "Latino" are the main terms employed to categorize any person, of any racial or ethnic background, who is of Hispanic American or Spanish origin or descent.cite web |url=http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/1997standards.html |title=Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity; Federal Register Notice October 30, 1997 |accessdate=2008-04-27 |publisher=Office of Management and Budget] However, although the 1990 census definition expressly mentioned "Spain", the Census 2000 and ACS definitions do not. They do use the term "Spanish", but the meaning of this word may be ambiguous, owing to its former use for all Hispanic people, via phrases such as "Spanish origin population". (More on this below)

The term Hispanic was first adopted in the United States by the administration of Richard Nixon, [cite web
url = http://www.pbs.org/newshour/essays/june97/rodriguez_6-18.html
title = A Cultural Identity
accessdate = 2006-12-27
] and has since been used in local and federal employment, mass media, academia, and business market research. It has been used in the US Census since 1980.cite web
url = http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0056/twps0056.html
title = Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States
author = Gibson, Campbell
coauthor = Jung, Kay
accessdate = 2006-12-07
year = 2002
month = 09
work = Working Paper Series No. 56
] Due to the widespread, popular use of "Latino", the government adopted this term as well in 1997, and it was used in the 2000 census.cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/cenbr01-1.pdf |title=Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2000 |last=Grieco |first=Elizabeth M. |coauthors=Rachel C. Cassidy |accessdate=2008-04-27 |format=PDF |publisher=United States Census Bureau]

The term "Hispanic" is often confused with "Spanish". The Spanish (or Spaniards) are the people who are native to or who have origins in Spain, located in mainland Europe.

Previously, Hispanics were categorized as "Spanish-Americans," "Spanish-speaking Americans," and "Spanish-surnamed Americans." These terms, however, proved misleading or inaccurate, since:
* Although most Hispanics have Spanish ancestry, most Hispanics are not of direct (non-Latin American) Spanish descent; many are not primarily of Spanish descent; and some Hispanics are not of Spanish descent at all. For example, there are Hispanics of other European ancestries (e.g. Italian, German, Polish), as well as Middle Eastern (e.g. Lebanese), Black, Amerindian/Native American, Asian, and mixed race ancestries (of the latter, Mestizo and Mulatto ["mulato" in Spanish] are the most common). On the other hand, descendants of Spaniards such as Hispanos and Islenos, both of whose American history extends back for centuries, identify solely with the United States rather than with Spain;

* "Most" U.S. Hispanics speak Spanish, not all; and most Spanish-speaking people are Hispanic, not all (e.g., many U.S. Hispanics by the fourth generation no longer speak Spanish, while there are some non-Hispanics who are fluent in the language );Fact|This is a bold claim that I'd like to see some real numbers for.|date=October 2008
* "Most" Hispanics have a Spanish surname, not all (a notable example is New Mexico governor Bill Richardson), and "most" Spanish-surnamed people are Hispanic, not all. For example, there are many Filipino Americans, Chamorros (Guamanians and Northern Mariana Islanders), Palauans, Micronesians (FSM), and Marshallese with Spanish surnames in the United States who, however, have their own, non-Hispanic ethnic identities; likewise, while a number of Louisiana Creole people have Spanish surnames, they identify with the hybrid Francophone and Spanish culture of the region.

The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" are not held to be synonymous by all authorities of American English, as seen in the following quotation:

"Though often used interchangeably in American English, "Hispanic" and "Latino" are not identical terms, and in certain contexts the choice between them can be significant. "Hispanic", from the Latin word for "Spain," has the broader reference, potentially encompassing all Spanish-speaking peoples in both hemispheres and emphasizing the common denominator of language among communities that sometimes have little else in common. "Latino"—which in Spanish means "Latin" but which as an English word is probably a shortening of the Spanish word "latinoamericano"—refers more exclusively to persons or communities of Latin American origin. Of the two, only "Hispanic" can be used in referring to Spain and its history and culture; a native of Spain residing in the United States is a "Hispanic", not a "Latino", and one cannot substitute "Latino" in the phrase "the Hispanic influence on native Mexican cultures" without garbling the meaning. In practice, however, this distinction is of little significance when referring to residents of the United States, most of whom are of Latin American origin and can theoretically be called by either word."cite web |url=http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Hispanic |title=American Heritage Dictionary |accessdate = 2007-03-18]
Neither term refers to race, as a person of Latino or Hispanic descent can be of any race.cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/compraceho.html |title=U.S. Census Bureau Guidance on the Presentation and Comparison of Race and Hispanic Origin Data |accessdate = 2007-03-18 |author=United States Census Bureau |quote = Race and Hispanic origin are two separate concepts in the federal statistical system. People who are Hispanic may be of any race. People in each race group may be either Hispanic or Not Hispanic. Each person has two attributes, their race (or races) and whether or not they are Hispanic.]

As officially defined in the United States, "Latino" does not include Brazilian Americans, and "specifically" refers to "Spanish culture or origin," although some dictionary definitions may include them or Brazilians in general. Furthermore, Hispanic or Latino origin is, like race, a matter of self-identification in the U.S., and government and non-government questionnaires, including the census form, [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/pdf/d61a.pdf |title=U.S. Census form |accessdate=2008-05-30 |publisher=United States Census Bureau|format=PDF (See question 7)] usually contain a blank entry space wherein respondents can indicate a Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin other than the few (Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban) which are specified; presumably, any Brazilian American wishing to do so can thus self-identify as being of Latino origin (as can anyone with no Latin American background). However, the government's population reports do not include Brazilian Americans with Hispanics and Latinos. [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B03001 |title=B03001. Hispanic or Latino Origin by Specific Origin |work=2006 American Community Survey |accessdate=2008-01-20 |publisher=United States Census Bureau]


A continuous Hispanic presence in the territory of the United States has existed since the 16th century, earlier than any other group after the Native Americans. Spaniards pioneered the present–day United States. The first confirmed European landing in the continental U.S. was by Juan Ponce de León, who landed in 1513 at a lush shore he christened "La Florida". Within three decades of Ponce de León's landing, the Spanish became the first Europeans to reach the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi River, the Grand Canyon and the Great Plains. Spanish ships sailed along the East Coast, penetrating to present-day Bangor, Maine, and up the Pacific Coast as far as Oregon. From 1528 to 1536, four castaways from a Spanish expedition, including a "Moor", journeyed all the way from Florida to the Gulf of California, 267 years before the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

In 1540 Hernando de Soto undertook an extensive exploration of the present U.S., and in the same year Francisco Vásquez de Coronado led 2,000 Spaniards and Mexican Indians across today's ArizonaMexico border and traveled as far as central Kansas, close to the exact geographic center of what is now the continental United States. Other Spanish explorers of the US make up a long list that includes, among others: Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, Pánfilo de Narváez, Sebastián Vizcaíno, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, Gaspar de Portolà, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Tristán de Luna y Arellano and Juan de Oñate. In all, Spaniards probed half of today's lower 48 states before the first English colonization attempt at Roanoke Island in 1585.

The Spanish created the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States, at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565. Santa Fe, New Mexico also predates Jamestown, Virginia (founded in 1607) and Plymouth Colony (of "Mayflower" and Pilgrims fame; founded in 1620). Later came Spanish settlements in San Antonio, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, San Diego, California, Los Angeles, California and San Francisco, California, to name just a few. The Spanish even established a Jesuit mission in Virginia's Chesapeake Bay 37 years before the founding of Jamestown.

2000 Census Data)

Two iconic American stories have Spanish antecedents, too. Almost 80 years before John Smith's alleged rescue by Pocahontas, a man by the name of Juan Ortiz told of his remarkably similar rescue from execution by an Indian girl. Spaniards also held a thanksgiving — 56 years before the famous Pilgrims festival — when they feasted near St. Augustine with Florida Indians, probably on stewed pork and garbanzo beans. As late as 1783, at the end of the American Revolutionary War, Spain held claim to roughly half of today's continental United States; in 1775, Spanish ships even reached Alaska. From 1819 to 1848, the United States (through treaties, purchase, diplomacy, and the Mexican-American War) increased its area by roughly a third at Spanish and Mexican expense, acquiring three of today's four most populous states — California, Texas and Florida — and several smaller ones. Hispanics became the first American citizens in these new territories, and remained a majority in several Southwestern states until the 20th century. (See also Viceroyalty of New Spain.)

Hispanic soldiers have fought in all the wars of the United States. [ [http://www4.army.mil/otf/speech.php?story_id_key=9575] , [http://www.senate.gov/~pryor/newsroom/details.cfm?id=263773&] , [http://www.houstonculture.org/hispanic/memorial.html] ] See also List of Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients


Hispanic or Latino origin is independent of race and is termed "ethnicity" by the United States Census Bureau. The racial categories are six: American Indian and Alaska Native, White, Black or African American, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, Some other race, and Two or more races. The distinction made by government agencies for those within the population of each race category is between those with Hispanic ethnic backgrounds and all others of non-Hispanic ethnic backgrounds.

A majority of Hispanic and Latino Americans are white, per both sets of government estimates: a slight majority of 52% is white per the American Community Survey,cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B03002&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-geo_id=01000US&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B03002. HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE |accessdate=2008-05-13 |work=2006 American Community Survey |publisher=United States Census Bureau] a figure which rises to 93% in the Population Estimates Program, which are the official estimates. [cite web |url=http://www.factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-state=dt&-context=dt&-ds_name=PEP_2006_EST&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=PEP_2006_EST_G2006_T004_2006&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=true&-_caller=geoselect&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=NBSP&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=T4-2006. Hispanic or Latino By Race [15] |accessdate=2008-05-13 |work=2006 Population Estimates |publisher=United States Census Bureau] This is due to the absence of the "Some other race" category from the official estimates, which instead reallocate it among the five standard, minimum race categories, mostly the white category. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/files/MRSF-01-US1.html |title=Technical Documentation for the Census 2000 Modified Race Data Summary File |accessdate=2008-05-14 |publisher=United States Census Bureau]

Notable contributions

Hispanic and Latino Americans have made many contributions to the United States in all major fields, among them politics, the military, music, sports, the economy, and science.


Hispanic Americans have held important positions at all levels of US government.

Hispanics and Latinos in the Federal Cabinet include, among others, Lauro Cavazos, former Secretary of Education; Alberto Gonzales, former United States Attorney General; Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce; and Bill Richardson, former Secretary of Energy and Ambassador to the United Nations.

In the House of Representatives, Hispanic and Latino representatives have included Romualdo Pacheco, Ladislas Lazaro, Antonio M. Fernández, Henry B. Gonzalez, Kika de la Garza, Herman Badillo, and Manuel Lujan, Jr., out of almost two dozen former Representatives. Current Representatives include Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Joe Baca, Silvestre Reyes, Nydia Velázquez, Rubén Hinojosa, Linda Sánchez, and John Salazar; in all, they number twenty-three. Senators include former senators Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo, Dennis Chavez, and Joseph Montoya and current senators Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, and Bob Menendez.

Governors include former governors Romualdo Pacheco, Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo, and Bob Martinez, as well as current New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. Numerous Hispanic or Latino mayors and local executives, and state and local legislators have held and currently hold office throughout the United States.

Music and entertainment

There are many Hispanic American musicians that have achieved international fame, such as Selena, Linda Ronstadt, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan and Zack de la Rocha. Latino and Hispanic music remains popular in the United States and around the world.

Hispanics and Latinos have also contributed many prominent actors and entertainers in the television and film industries, past and present, a few of whom includes Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez, Ricardo Montalban, Tamala Jones, Lisa Rodriguez, Eva Mendes, Frankie J, Cameron Diaz, Jimmy Smits, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Sheen, Rita Hayworth, Eva Longoria Parker, Joaquin Phoenix, George Lopez, Maria Montez, Andy Garcia, Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno, Anthony Quinn, Raquel Welch, Desi Arnaz, Robert Rodriguez, Erik Estrada, and Marquita Rivera the first Puerto Rican actress to appear in a major Hollywood feature film.

Created in 1995 The American Latino Media Arts Award, or ALMA Award is a distinction awarded given to Latino performers (actors, film and television directors, and musicians) by the National Council of La Raza. This awards fesival is commonly referred to as the "Latin American Oscars" in North America. The most prestigious Latin music awards today are the Latin Grammy Awards launched in 2000. In addition to the Latin Grammy Awards Billboard Magazine also honors this artis in the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Differences between the Latin Grammy Awards and the Billbord Latin Music Awards are that the Billboard Latin Music Awards nominees and winners are a result of performance on Billboard's sales and radio charts and the Latin Grammy Awards nominees and winners are selected by the Latin Recording Academy (LARAS). In addition the Latin Grammy Awards airs in Univision will the Billboard Latin Music Awards airs at Telemundo. The two major Spanish-language television network competitors in the United States.


Many Hispanic Americans have excelled in sports. The large number of Hispanic and Latino American athletes that have starred in Major League Baseball includes Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, as well as National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum members Roberto Clemente and Rod Carew.

Boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya, National Football League Pro Football Hall of Fame player Anthony Muñoz, National Soccer Hall of Fame player Tab Ramos, tennis legend Pancho Gonzales, and World Golf Hall of Fame golfers Juan "Chi-Chi" Rodríguez and Lee Trevino are all Hispanic or Latino Americans who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of sport. In 1999 Scott Gomez became the first Hispanic player in the National Hockey League.

cience and technology

Among Hispanic Americans that have excelled in science, we find Luis Walter Alvarez, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and his son Walter Alvarez, the geologist who first proposed the well-known asteroid collision theory of dinosaur extinction; Ellen Ochoa, pioneer of spacecraft technology and astronaut; Juan R. Cruz, NASA aerospace engineer; and Lieutenant Colonel Carlos I. Noriega, NASA mission specialist and computer scientist. Franklin Chang-Diaz a Costa Rican-American astronaut who holds two records for being first Latin American (for NASA) and for most flights into space and is the leading researcher on the plasma engine for rockets.


Hispanic and Latino participation in the military of the United States has occurred since the founding of the republic, and military recruitment is quite active in the nation's Hispanic communities. Tens of thousands of Latinos are deployed in the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and US military missions and bases elsewhere.

ocioeconomic circumstances

Immigration from Hispanic countries, such as Mexico and Cuba, have followed adverse political and economic circumstances there. The strongest waves of Mexican immigrants came between the late 1970s and mid–1990s, when the value of the Mexican currency (the peso) dropped suddenly to half its value, sending the country into economic shock. Many of the people who have come from Mexico are from the poor parts of Mexico City, the southern states with large Amerindian communities, and also the poor parts of the north of Mexico. In the late 1990s more Mexican professionals have started to work between the two countries, and some of the lower middle class has also begun to immigrate.

Some Cuban immigrants were from privileged socioeconomic positions, and were fleeing Fidel Castro's communist government.

Workforce and Average Income

In 2002, the average individual income for Hispanics was highest amongst Cuban Americans ($38,733), and lowest amongst Dominican Americans ($28,467) and Mexican Americans ($27,877). Puerto Ricans ($33,927) and Central and South Americans ($30,444) placed in–between. In comparison, the income of the average Hispanic American is lower than the national average.

Among Hispanics, Cuban Americans (28.5 percent) had the highest percentage in professional–managerial occupations, but that percentage was lower than the average for non–Hispanics (36.2 percent). In comparison, the percentage for Puerto Ricans was 20.7, Central and South Americans' was 16.8 percent and Mexican Americans' was 13.2 percent.Fact|date=January 2008


High school graduation rates are highest among Cuban Americans (68.7 percent) and lowest among Mexican Americans (48.7 percent). Other Hispanic groups fall in–between, including Puerto Ricans (63.2 percent), Central and South Americans (60.4 percent) and Dominican Americans (51.7 percent).

According to the 2000 census, Cuban Americans and Central and South Americans had the highest college graduation rates, with 19.4 percent of Cuban Americans and 16 percent of Central and South Americans 25 years and older achieving a 4–year college degree. Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and Dominican Americans had considerably lower college graduation rates, with only 6.2 percent of Mexican Americans, 9.9 of Puerto Ricans and 10.9 of Dominican Americans achieving a 4–year college degree. In comparison non–Hispanic Asian Americans (43.3 percent) and non–Hispanic White Americans (26.1 percent) had a higher graduation rate than all Hispanic American groups. Non–Hispanic Black Americans (14.4 percent) had a lower graduation rate than Cuban Americans and Central and South Americans but had a higher graduation rate than Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and Dominican Americans.Fact|date=January 2008

Cuban Americans have the highest attainment of graduate degrees among all Hispanic groups, with 6.7 percent. The Central and South Americans ratio is 4.2 percent. Both are lower than those of non–Hispanic Asian Americans (15.6 percent) and non–Hispanic White Americans (8.7 percent). Non–Hispanic Black Americans (4.1 percent) have a higher percentage of graduate level degrees than all Hispanic groups with the exception of Cuban Americans and South and Central Americans. Of those 25 years and older only 3.1 percent of Puerto Ricans, 1.8 percent of Dominican Americans and 1.4 percent of Mexican Americans have attained a graduate level degree.Fact|date=January 2008


According to ACS Reports, among Hispanic groups the Poverty Rate is highest among Dominican Americans (28.1 percent) [http://www.census.gov/prod/2007pubs/acs-03.pdf The American Community-Hispanics: 2004 ] ] and Puerto Ricans (23.7 percent). South Americans- Colombian Americans (10.6 percent) and Peruvian Americans (13.6 percent)- had the lowest poverty rates among Hispanic groups. In comparison, the average poverty rates for European Americans (6.3 percent) and Asian Americans (7.1 percent) were lower than that of any Hispanic group. African Americans (21.3 percent) have a higher poverty rate than all Hispanic groups, with the exception of Dominican Americans and Puerto Ricans.


:"See also: Discrimination against Mexican Americans

Hispanophobia has existed in various degrees throughout U.S. history, based largely on ethnicity, race, culture, Anti-Catholicism, and use of the Spanish language. [ [http://amath.colorado.edu/carnegie/lit/lynch/migrant.htm Lynching and Violence in America: Migrant Workers ] ] [ [http://www.neta.com/~1stbooks/press3b.htm press3b ] ] [ [http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/lhr/21.1/forum_wilson.html Steven H. Wilson | Brown over "Other White": Mexican Americans' Legal Arguments and Litigation Strategy in School Desegregation Lawsuits | Law and History Review, 21.1 | The History Cooperative ] ] [ [http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/mexican_voices/voices_display.cfm?id=104 Digital History ] ]

In 2006, "Time Magazine" reported that the number of hate groups in the United States increased by 33 percent since 2000, primarily due to anti-illegal immigrant and anti-Mexican sentiment. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1198895,00.html How Immigration is Rousing the Zealots - TIME ] ]

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, the number of anti-Latino hate crimes increased by 35 percent since 2003. In California, the state with the largest Latino population, the number of hate crimes against Latinos has almost doubled. [ [http://www.democracynow.org/2007/12/5/fbi_statistics_show_anti_latino_hate Democracy Now! | FBI Statistics Show Anti-Latino Hate Crimes on the Rise ] ]

Political trends

Hispanics and Latinos differ on their political views depending on their location and background, but the majority (57%)cite web |url=http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/12/10/gop_debaters_beckon_hispanics/ |title=GOP hopefuls beckon Hispanics in debate - The Boston Globe |accessdate=2008-06-08 |last=Levenson |first=Michael |date=2007-12-10 |work=The Boston Globe |publisher=The New York Times Company] identify themselves as Democrats or support the Democrats, as reflected in the voting results of recent decades. 23% of Hispanics and Latinos identify themselves as Republicans. The 34% percentage point gap as of December, 2007 was an increase from the gap of 21 points 16 months earlier. Cubans and Colombians tend to favor conservative political ideologies and support the Republicans, while Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans tend to favor liberal views and support the Democrats; however, because the latter groups are far more numerous, Mexican Americans alone are 64% of Hispanics and Latinos, the Democratic Party is considered to be in a far stronger position among Hispanics overall.

The Presidency of George W. Bush has had a significant impact on the political leanings of Hispanics and Latinos. As a former Governor of Texas, President Bush has regarded this growing community as a potential source of growth for the conservative movement and the Republican Party,Fact|date=January 2008 and he made some gains for the Republican Party among the group.

In the 1996 presidential election, 72% of Hispanics backed President Bill Clinton, but in 2000, that Democratic total fell to 62%, and down further to 58% in 2004, with Democrat John Kerry winning Hispanics 58-40 over Bush. Hispanics in the West, especially in California, were much stronger for the Democratic Party than in Texas and Florida. California Latinos voted 63-32 for John Kerry in 2004, and both Arizona and New Mexico Latinos by a smaller 56-43 margin, but Texas Latinos were split nearly evenly (50-49 for Kerry), and Florida Latinos (mostly being Cuban American) backed Bush by a 54-45 margin.

In the 2006 midterm election, however, due to the unpopularity of the Iraq War, the heated debate concerning illegal immigration, and Republican-related Congressional scandals, Latinos went as strongly Democratic as they have since the Clinton years. Exit polls showed Hispanic and Latino Americans voting for Democrats by a lopsided 69-30 margin, with Florida Latinos for the first time split evenly. The runoff election in Texas' 23rd congressional district was seen as a bellwether of Latino politics, and Democrat Ciro Rodriguez's unexpected (and unexpectedly decisive) defeat of Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla was seen as proof of a leftward lurch among Latino voters, as heavily Latino counties overwhelmingly backed Rodriguez, and heavily Anglo counties overwhelmingly backed Bonilla. There has been talk in the media that the heated Republican opposition to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 may have done significant damage to the Republican party's appeal to Hispanics and Latinos in the years to come, especially in the swing states such as Florida, Nevada, and Colorado.

In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Hispanics and Latinos have been participating in large numbers in the Democratic primary. They have often preferred Hillary Clinton. [cite web |url=http://en.afrik.com/article12914.html |title=Obama gets another ally - Politics - United States - United Kingdom - International - Obama running for the White House - Africa |date=2008-03-22 |author=Daniel Dombey |coauthors=Andrew Ward |accessdate=2008-06-08] In the matchup between Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Republican candidate John McCain as of June 2008 for the presidential race, Hispanics and Latinos supported Senator Barack Obama 59% to Senator John McCain's 29% in the Gallup tracking poll. 18% of participants identified themselves as Republicans in the same Gallup poll that polled 4,604 registered Hispanic voters. [ [http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gJyH1GO3NGTeG0KIQjK8-P98ktwg AFP: Obama dominates McCain among Hispanics: poll ] ]

Some political organizations associated with Hispanic and Latino Americans are LULAC, the United Farm Workers, the Cuban American National Foundation, and the National Institute for Latino Policy.


The geographic, political, social, economic, and racial diversity of Hispanic and Latino Americans extends to culture, as well. Yet several features tend to unite Hispanics and Latinos from these diverse backgrounds.


With 40% of Hispanic and Latino Americans being immigrants,cite web |url=http://www.factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201PR&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201T&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201TPR&-reg=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201:400;ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201PR:400;ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201T:400;ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201TPR:400&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-_lang=en&-format= |title=United States - Selected Population Profile in the United States (Hispanic or Latino (of any race)) |accessdate=2008-06-11 |work=2006 American Community Survey |publisher=United States Census Bureau] and with many of the 60% who are U.S.–born being the children or grandchildren of immigrants, bilingualism is the norm in the community at large: at least 69% of all Hispanic and Latino Americans over age five are bilingual in English and Spanish, whereas up to 22% are monolingual English–speakers, and 9% are monolingual Spanish–speakers; another 0.4% speak a language other than English and Spanish at home.cite web |url=http://www.factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B16006&-redoLog=false&-geo_id=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en&-SubjectID=14829562 |title=B16006. LANGUAGE SPOKEN AT HOME BY ABILITY TO SPEAK ENGLISH FOR THE POPULATION 5 YEARS AND OVER (HISPANIC OR LATINO) |accessdate=2008-06-12 |work=2006 American Community Survey |publisher=United States Census Bureau [There were 39.5 million Hispanic and Latino Americans aged 5 or more in 2006. 8.5 million of them, or 22%, spoke only English at home, and another 156,000, or 0.4%, spoke neither English nor Spanish at home. The other 30.8 million, or 78%, spoke Spanish at home. Of these, 3.7 million spoke no English, while the overwhelming majority, 27.2 million did, at these levels: 15.5 million "very well", 5.8 million "well", and 5.9 million "not well". These 27.2 million represented 69% of all (39.5 million) Hispanic and Latino Americans aged five or over in 2006, while the 3.7 million monolingual Spanish–speakers represented 9%.] ] In all, a full 90% of all Hispanic and Latino Americans speak English, and at least 78% of all Hispanic and Latino Americans speak Spanish.

The usual pattern is monolingual Spanish usage among new migrants or older foreign–born Hispanics, complete bilingualism among long settled immigrants and the children of immigrants (children and grandchildren of immigrants often speak mostly English with some Spanish words and phrases thrown in), and the use of English and/or Spanglish and colloquial Spanish within long established Hispanic communities by the third generation and beyond.


The United States is home to thousands of Spanish language media outlets, which range in size from giant commercial broadcasting networks and major magazines with circulations numbering in the millions, to low-power AM radio stations with listeners numbering in the hundreds. There are hundreds of Internet media outlets targeting U.S. Hispanic consumers, some of which are online versions of their printed counterparts and others online exclusively.

Among the noteworthy Spanish-language media outlets are:
*Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, with affiliates in nearly every major U.S. market, including numerous affiliates internationally;
*Telemundo, the second–largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, with affiliates in nearly every major U.S. market, including numerous affiliates internationally;
*La Opinión, a Spanish-language daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California and distributed throughout the six counties of Southern California. It is the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States.
*El Nuevo Herald, a Spanish-language daily newspaper serving the greater Miami, Florida market;
*Vida Latina, a Spanish-language entertainment magazine distributed throughout the Southern United States.

In the aspect of public television, otherwise known as non-commercial television, there are organizations that advocate a greater degree of programming from a Hispanic or Latino perspective. The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has been a leader since its founding in 1986 in advocating for Latino inclusion in television, radio and film. [cite web |url=http://www.nhmc.org/about/ |title=National Hispanic Media Coalition: About Us |accessdate=2008-06-12] In 1999, along with a board coalition of national Latino organizations, the NHMC led a "brownout" of the national television networks after discovering that there were no Latinos in any of their new prime time shows that year. [cite web |url=http://aspen.conncoll.edu/politicsandculture/page.cfm?key=145 |title=Politics and Culture: Making a Difference |last=Noriega |first=Chon |accessdate=2008-06-12 |publisher=Connecticut College] This resulted in the signing of historic diversity agreements with ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC that have increased the hiring of Hispanic and Latino talent and other staff in all of the networks since then. Also prominent in this area is Latino Public Broadcasting, which funds programs of educational and cultural significance to Hispanic Americans. These LPB-funded projects are distributed to various public television stations throughout the United States.

ee also

*White Hispanic
*Black Hispanic
*White Latin American
*Britons with Latin American ancestry
*Hispanic British
*Hispanic Australian
*Latino Canadian
*Afro-Latin American
*Demographics of the United States
*Native Americans in the United States


External links

* [http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/congress/ Hispanic Americans in Congress] "Library of Congress"
* [http://www.army.mil/hispanicamericans/ Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Army]

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