Latin Identity

When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity

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It has been nearly four decades since the United States government mandated the use by federal agencies of the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” to categorize Americans who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking countries, but the labels still haven’t been fully embraced by the group to which they have been affixed.

Only about one-quarter (24%) of Hispanic adults say they most often identify themselves by “Hispanic” or “Latino,” according to a new nationwide survey of Hispanic adults by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. About half (51%) say they identify themselves most often by their family’s country or place of origin-using such terms as Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran or Dominican. And 21% say they use the term “American” most often to describe themselves. The share rises to 40% among those who were born in the U.S. (Read More)