Hispanic vs Latino

MoMo Productions/DigitalVision via Getty Images

What Is Hispanic? Here's How It's Different From Latino

They are not interchangeable
Hispanic vs Latino

MoMo Productions/DigitalVision via Getty Images

While both Latino and Hispanic are pan-ethnic attempts at categorizing a population of people with similar ethnic backgrounds, the two are not one and the same. Not every Hispanic person is Latino and not every Latino is Hispanic. 

Pay Gap, Racism and More Contribute to Growing Economic Inequality in the US

Hispanic people are those with heritage linking back to Spanish-speaking countries around the world. This includes Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and much of South America. Notably excluded from the Hispanic population is Brazil, where the official language is Portuguese. 

Latino, on the other hand, can be used to describe people from Latin America regardless of the language. Therefore, Brazil is included under the Latino label and Spain is not. The term Latinx has also recently been used as a gender-inclusive alternative for Latino or Hispanic. 

Beyond these common conventions, personal preference plays a large part in how Latino or Hispanic people identify themselves. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, half of Hispanic respondents describe themselves by their family’s country of origin or heritage first and foremost. Half of those surveyed also showed no preference between Latino and Hispanic. 

Related

Latino, Hispanic or Latinx, U.S. citizens, residents and communities with ties back to these countries have surely made impacts on American culture and politics. For inspiration, look no further than these 15 heroic Hispanic people who made insurmountable changes