What is Hispanic? 10 Facts about Hispanicity in the USA

You must have often heard someone being called Hispanic. This term has been known since ancient times. But, do you know what is Hispanic?

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, this word is an adjective of Hispania, the name formerly given to the Iberian Peninsula.

Additionally, it is considered a synonym for “Spanish,” so it is used to refer to those born in Hispanic lands and those who speak the language.

It includes not only people native to Spain but also those from other Spanish-speaking territories. 

What is Hispanic in the USA? 

If you live or have ever been in the USA, you know that there are many residents whose mother tongue is Spanish.

Americans call them Hispanics. This identity encompasses anyone who speaks this language or has roots in Latin America.

For example, Mexicans descended from indigenous people, Argentines with Italian ancestry, or Ecuadorians with African ancestors.

They even include this classification within the ethnic category, separate from the racial one. Hence, a Cuban American is considered Hispanic and Black.

Or also Hispanic and White, depending on the characteristics associated with their race. 

Hispanic vs. Latino, how are both terms used? 

Another word you have surely heard a lot is Latino. Like Hispanic, it is accepted to identify Americans with roots in Latin America or the Caribbean.

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, the meaning for some people is entirely different.

An example is the use given by the National Museum of the American Latino. This forum links the term “Latino” with the ancestral or cultural connection of those regions.

Therefore, it uses it to refer to culturally connected USA residents. Others use it to describe people of color, Asians, or indigenous people.

Likewise, to talk about individuals of European descent. What is Hispanic for others? Some use it to refer to Spanish speakers. 

WHAT IS HISPANIC? 10 Facts about Hispanics in the United States 

Here are ten interesting facts about Hispanic groups in the United States. Take a look.

1. Hispanic Heritage Month in the USA 

This is a highly anticipated event for the Hispanic community in the USA. The reason? To honor their history and rich culture.

The celebrations for Hispanic Heritage begin on September 15 and continue until October 15 each year.

They have been held since 1968, thanks to then USA President Lyndon B. Johnson, who proclaimed National Hispanic Heritage Week.

The date coincides with the anniversary of several countries in the region: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador.

It was extended to a month twenty years later, thanks to a decision by President Ronald Reagan. And it recognizes the contribution of Latinos and Hispanics to the USA. 

2. Venezuelans, Dominicans, and Guatemalans make up the rapidly growing groups 

Do you know how many people of Hispanic origin live in the USA? In 2022, there were more than 63.7 million, according to the government Census Bureau.

Of that population, the fastest-growing groups were Venezuelans, Guatemalans, and Dominicans.

The highest figure represented those born in Venezuela, with an impressive increase of 169% between 2010 and 2021. They grew from 240,000 to 640,000.

The presence of immigrants from Guatemala and the Dominican Republic grew by 60%, reaching a population of 1,800,000 and 2,400,000, respectively. 

3. The greatest cultural tradition of Hispanics is familism 

Undoubtedly, something that distinguishes this community in the USA is its family values and customs.

For this group, family is very important, so they always share traditions that make their members feel at home.

They also work for the economic well-being of all group members. And they practice solidarity at all times.

These are some of the qualities that help you understand what Hispanic means. Although at times, they may cause difficulties in adapting to their new life. 

4. There are 10 states with the largest Latino population in the USA 

Most Latinos live in specific states in the USA. Among the most populated by this group are California and Texas.

In 1990, they represented one out of every two Latinos in the country. This population grew rapidly in other American regions where there were not many Latinos.

Which ones? According to the 2000 census, the 10 with the largest population were: Nevada, Minnesota, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and the two Carolinas.

They are also located in central areas like Los Angeles, where 5,900,000 Hispanics were registered in 2021.

Similarly, in New York (5,100,000), Miami and Houston (2,800,000), Riverside, CA (2,500,000), Dallas-Fort Worth (2,300,000), and Chicago (2,000,000).

Other atypical cities where they have settled are Phoenix (1,600,000), San Antonio (1,400,000), and San Diego (1,100,000).

5. The Hispanic population is a valuable resource for the USA 

Latinos or Hispanics, whichever you prefer to call them, have not only transformed the demographics of the USA. Their influence also contributes in many aspects to the country.

For example, in the economy, by creating new businesses or ventures that provide jobs for many people.

Additionally, they have enormous political power, making them very relevant to candidates for public office during elections.

Latin American food and music are extremely popular, as are advertisements, billboards, and media. 

6. Hispanics are younger than Americans in general 

Another interesting fact about this population is that although it is aging, it is still younger than the general American population.

The median age of Hispanics in the USA increased from 26.3 to 29.5 years in 2021. Despite this, it still does not surpass the rest.

That year, the median age of the general native population was 37.8 years. And for Hispanics born in the country, it was 21 years.

Among Hispanic Americans, the oldest were Argentinians and Cubans, with median ages of 26.9 and 26.6 years, respectively. 

7. The number of Latinos with bachelor’s degrees has increased 

Regarding the level of education, you will be interested to know that the number of adults with a university degree is increasing.

The proportion of Latinos aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree is one in five. Can you guess which groups have a higher level?

Venezuelans are in the first place with 57%, followed by Argentinians with 46%.

In all Hispanic groups, the number of people with this level of education increased between 2010 and 2021. 

8. The rate of Hispanics with home ownership has increased 

During this period, the number of Hispanics who own their homes also increased. The homeownership rate rose from 47% to 51%.

However, it did not surpass the 65% rate of American households in general. As you can see, it was below the average.

The groups of origin that were twice as likely to acquire their own homes were Spaniards and Argentinians.

On the other hand, for Hondurans and Dominicans, opportunities were scarce. Panamanians achieved the highest percentage gain rate with 7.8%. 

9. Mexicans lead the largest group in 40 states 

According to the Census Bureau, this population reached 35.9% in 2020, representing 58% of the total.

It even tripled that of Caribbean origin, which includes both Cubans and Dominicans and Puerto Ricans.

Up to that date, it was the largest regional Hispanic group in the country. However, the growth of the Mexican population was slow.

Especially if you compare it with other groups like the Venezuelan one, which experienced an increase of 181.5% since 2010. 

10. what is hispanic? Latin food has fused with American cuisine

You will never understand what it means to be Hispanic without trying the variety of dishes from the different populations that make up this group.

Some are truly emblematic and have left their mark on American culinary customs.

That is why you find traditional Hispanic ingredients and techniques in many places in the USA. From dishes with indigenous, European to African influence.

An example of this is Tex-Mex food, which became popular in the 19th century with the arrival of foreign cooks and entrepreneurs.

This includes Puerto Rican mofongo, Cuban ropa vieja, Mexican tamales, Venezuelan arepas, and Peruvian chupe.

Now, do you understand what is Hispanic? These facts about Hispanics in the USA show that it is a diverse and important community.

It has its origins in Spanish-speaking countries, and most of its members speak Spanish as their mother tongue.

It has become an essential population in the USA, both economically and politically. And it boasts of being younger than the American population.

Censuses conducted by the government have demonstrated the growth it has experienced in recent decades. Even in states that had few Latinos.

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