Hispanic, Latino, Either Way — Except in Texas

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

A sombrero at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Don’t mess with the identity of Hispanics in Texas.

It’s the one place, apparently, where Hispanic Americans prefer being called just that, rather than Latino, by a six-to-one margin.

So notes the Pew Research Center, which posed this question to Americans alternately called Hispanic or Latino: “Are you Hispanic or Latino?”

“Officially, both terms are used by the U.S. federal government to describe this population, and many organizations, including the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, use the terms interchangeably in publications,” Pew’s Mark Hugo Lopez writes. “However, among Hispanics themselves, many are ambivalent about the two terms.”

A Pew survey of Hispanic adults found that half (50 percent) have no preference for either term. But among those with a preference, “Hispanic” is preferred over “Latino” by a ratio of about two-to-one.

“There’s one striking exception: Texas.”

While nearly half of all Hispanic Texans (46 percent) prefer the term “Hispanic,”  just 8 percent prefer the term “Latino.”

In California, the state with the largest Hispanic population, 30 percent prefer “Hispanic” and 17 percent “Latino.” In Florida, with large Cuban-American, Central American and Puerto Rican population, 31 percent prefer “Hispanic” and 17 percemt “Latino.”

See Pew’s report, with highlights below:

Across Hispanic Origin Groups, Most Use a Specific Hispanic Origin Term to Describe Their Identity

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