18.4% of the total U.S. population (2019)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Predominantly Christian: Roman Catholic; minority of Protestants, Irreligious, other religions|
|Related ethnic groups|
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Hispanic and Latino Americans (Spanish: Americanos hispanos y latinos, Portuguese: Americanos hispânicos e latinos) are Americans of Spanish or Latin American ancestry. More generally, these demographics include all Americans who identify as Hispanic or Latino (regardless of ancestry). As of 2018, the Census Bureau estimated that there were almost 60 million Hispanics living in the United States (about 18% of the overall population).
"Origin" can be viewed as the ancestry, nationality group, lineage or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States of America. People who identify as Spanish or Hispanic may be of any race. As one of the only two specifically designated categories of ethnicity in the United States (the other being "Not Hispanic or Latino"), Hispanics form a pan-ethnicity incorporating a diversity of inter-related cultural and linguistic heritages. Most Hispanic Americans are of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan or Colombian origin. The predominant origin of regional Hispanic populations varies widely in different locations across the country.
Hispanics are the second fastest-growing ethnic group by percentage growth in the United States after Asian Americans. Hispanics of indigenous descent and Native Americans are the oldest ethnic groups to inhabit much of what is today the United States. Spain colonized large areas of what is today the American Southwest and West Coast, as well as Florida. Its holdings included present-day California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas, all of which were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain based in Mexico City. Later, this vast territory became part of Mexico after its independence from Spain in 1821 and until the end of the Mexican–American War in 1848. Latino immigrants to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area derive from a broad spectrum of Spanish American countries.
Further information: Hispanic and Latino (ethnic categories)
The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" refer to an ethnicity. The U.S. Census Bureau defines being Hispanic as an ethnicity, rather than a race and thus people of this group may be of any race. In a 2015 national survey of self-identified Hispanics, 56% said that being Hispanic is part of both their racial and ethnic background, while smaller numbers considered it part of their ethnic background only (19%) or racial background only (11%). Hispanics may be of any linguistic background; in a 2015 survey, 71% of American Hispanics agreed that it "is not necessary for a person to speak Spanish to be considered Hispanic/Latino." Hispanic people may share some commonalities in their language, culture, history and heritage. According to the Smithsonian Institution, the term "Latino" includes peoples with Portuguese roots, such as Brazilians, as well as those of Spanish-language origin. In the United States, many Hispanics are of both Iberian (primarily Spanish) and Native American ancestry (mestizo). Others may have European (including Jewish), Middle Eastern, or Asian ancestry as well as of Amerindian ancestry. Many Hispanics from the Caribbean, as well as other regions of Latin America where African slavery was widespread, may be of sub-Saharan African descent as well.
The difference between the terms Hispanic and Latino is confusing to some. The U.S. Census Bureau equates the two terms and defines them as referring to anyone from Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas. After the Mexican–American War concluded in 1848, term Hispanic or Spanish American was primarily used to describe the Hispanos of New Mexico within the American Southwest. The 1970 United States Census controversially broadened the definition to "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race". This is now the common formal and colloquial definition of the term within the United States, outside of New Mexico. This definition is consistent with the 21st-century usage by the U.S. Census Bureau and OMB, as the two agencies use both terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably.
Latino is a condensed form of the term "latinoamericano", the Spanish word for Latin American, or someone who comes from Latin America. The term Latino has developed a number of definitions. This definition, as "male Latin-American inhabitant of the United States", is the oldest and the original definition used in the United States, first used in 1946. Under this definition a Mexican American or Puerto Rican, for example, is both a Hispanic and a Latino. A Brazilian American is also a Latino by this definition, which includes those of Portuguese-speaking origin from Latin America.
Preference of use between the terms among Hispanics and Latinos in the United States often depends on where users of the respective terms reside. Those in the Eastern United States tend to prefer the term Hispanic, whereas those in the West tend to prefer Latino.
The US ethnic designation Latino is abstracted from the longer form latinoamericano. The element latino- is actually an indeclinable, compositional form in -o (i.e. an elemento compositivo) that is employed to coin compounded formations (similar as franco- in francocanadiense 'French-Canadian′, or ibero- in iberorrománico, etc.).
The term Latinx (and similar neologism Xicanx) gained currency among some in the 2010s. The adoption of the X would be "[r]eflecting new consciousness inspired by more recent work by LGBTQI and feminist movements, some Spanish-speaking activists are increasingly using a yet more inclusive "x" to replace the "a" and "o," in a complete break with the gender binary". Among the advocates of the term LatinX, one of most frequently cited complaints of gender bias in the Spanish language is that a group of mixed or unknown gender would be referred to as Latinos, whereas Latinas refers to a group of women only (but this is changed immediately to Latinos, if even a single man joins this female group). A 2020 Pew Research Center survey found that about 3% of Latinos use the term (mostly women).
Some have pointed out that the term “Latino” refers to a pan-ethnic identity, one that spans a range of races, national origins, and linguistic backgrounds. ”Terms like Hispanic and Latino do not fully capture how we see ourselves,” says Geraldo Cadava, an associate professor of history and Latina and Latino studies at Northwestern University.
According to 2017 American Community Survey data, a small minority of immigrants from Brazil (2%), Portugal (2%) and the Philippines (1%) self-identify as Hispanic.
Main article: History of Hispanic and Latino Americans
Spanish explorers were pioneers in the territory of the present-day United States. The first confirmed European landing in the continental United States was by Juan Ponce de León, who landed in 1513 at a lush shore he christened La Florida. In the next three decades, 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, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and three fellows (including an African named Estevanico), from a Spanish expedition that foundered, journeyed from Florida to the Gulf of California. In 1540, Hernando de Soto undertook an extensive exploration of the present United States. That same year Francisco Vásquez de Coronado led 2,000 Spaniards and Mexican Indians across today's Arizona–Mexico 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 territory include, among others: Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, Pánfilo de Narváez, Sebastián Vizcaíno, Gaspar de Portolà, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Tristán de Luna y Arellano and Juan de Oñate, and non-Spanish explorers working for the Spanish Crown, such as Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. In 1565, the Spanish created the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States, at St. Augustine, Florida. Spanish missionaries and colonists founded settlements in Santa Fe, New Mexico, El Paso, San Antonio, Tucson, Albuquerque, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, to name a few. 
As late as 1783, at the end of the American Revolutionary War (a conflict in which Spain aided and fought alongside the rebels), Spain held claim to roughly half the territory of today's continental United States. 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 its three currently most populous states—California, Texas and Florida.
During the 20th and 21st centuries, Hispanic and Latino immigration to the United States increased markedly following changes to the immigration law in 1965.
Hispanic and Latino contributions in the historical past and present of the United States are addressed in more detail below (See Notables and their contributions). To recognize the current and historic contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans, on September 17, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated a week in mid-September as National Hispanic Heritage Week, with Congress's authorization. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended the observance to a month, designated National Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Americans became the largest minority group in 2004.
Main article: Demographics of Hispanic and Latino Americans
As of 2017, Hispanics accounted for 18% of the U.S. population, or almost 59 million people. The Hispanic growth rate over the April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007, period was 28.7%—about four times the rate of the nation's total population growth (at 7.2%). The growth rate from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, alone was 3.4%—about three and a half times the rate of the nation's total population growth (at 1.0%). Based on the 2010 census, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in 191 out of 366 metropolitan areas in the United States. The projected Hispanic population of the United States for July 1, 2050 is 132.8 million people, or 30.2% of the nation's total projected population on that date.
US Metropolitan Statistical Areas with over 1 million Hispanics (2014)
|1||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||5,979,000||45.1%|
|2||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||4,780,000||23.9%|
|3||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||2,554,000||43.3%|
|4||Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||2,335,000||36.4%|
|5||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||2,197,000||49.4%|
|7||Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||1,943,000||28.4%|
|9||San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||1,259,000||55.7%|
|10||San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||1,084,000||33.3%|
|11||San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||1,008,000||21.9%|
States and territories with the highest proportion of Hispanics (2010) 
|Rank||State/territory||Hispanic population||Percent Hispanic|
Of the nation's total Hispanic or Latino population, 49% (21.5 million) live in California or Texas.
Over half of the Hispanic population is concentrated in the Southwest region, mostly composed of Mexican Americans. California and Texas have some of the largest populations of Mexicans and Central American Hispanics in the United States. The Northeast region is dominated by Puerto Ricans and Dominican Americans, having the highest concentrations of both in the country. In the Mid Atlantic region, centered on the DC Metro Area, Salvadoran Americans are the largest of Hispanic groups. Florida is dominated by Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans. In both the Great Lakes States and the South Atlantic States, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans dominate. Mexicans dominate in the rest of the country, including the Western United States, South Central United States and Great Plains states.
As of 2018, approximately 62% of the nation's Hispanic population were of Mexican origin (see table). Another 9.6% were of Puerto Rican origin, with about 4% each of Cuban and Salvadoran and 3.4% Dominican origins. The remainder were of other Central American or of South American origin, or of origin directly from Spain. Two thirds of all Hispanic and Latino Americans were born in the United States.
There are few immigrants directly from Spain, since Spaniards have historically emigrated to Latin America rather than to English-speaking countries. Because of this, most Hispanics who identify themselves as Spaniard or Spanish also identify with Latin American national origin. In the 2017 Census estimate approximately 1.3 million Americans reported some form of "Spanish" as their ancestry, whether directly from Spain or not.
In northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, there is a large portion of Hispanics who trace their ancestry to Spanish settlers of the late 16th century through the 17th century. People from this background often self-identify as "Hispanos", "Spanish" or "Hispanic". Many of these settlers also intermarried with local Amerindians, creating a Mestizo population. Likewise, southern Louisiana is home to communities of people of Canary Islands descent, known as Isleños, in addition to other people of Spanish ancestry.
Chicanos, Californios, Nuevomexicanos and Tejanos are Americans of Spanish and/or Mexican descent. Chicanos live in the Southwest, Nuevomexicanos in New Mexico and Tejanos in Texas. Nuevomexicanos and Tejanos are distinct cultures with their own cuisines, dialects and musical traditions. The term "Chicano" became popular amongst Mexican Americans in the 1960s during the Chicano nationalism and Chicano Movement, and is today seen as an ethnic and cultural identity by some. Political activist César Chávez and novelist José Antonio Villarreal are famous Chicanos.
Nuyoricans are Americans of Puerto Rican descent from the New York City area. There are close to two million Nuyoricans in the United States. Famous Nuyoricans include Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor and singer Jennifer Lopez.
Latinos comes from multi-racial and multi-ethinic countries with diversity of origins; therefore, a Latino can be from any race or mix of it. The often most common ancestries are: indigenous from the Americas (Native-Americans), African, and European. Therefore, most Latinos have mixed ancestry of different combinations and ratios, although non-mixed Latinos of each race also exist in varied amounts on each country.
Hispanic or Latino origin is independent of race and is termed "ethnicity" by the United States Census Bureau. Depending on the regions within Latin America, a significant proportion of Latinos have high to moderate levels of colonial-era Sub-Saharan African input through the Tran-Atlantic slave trade. But also as a result from Europeans of Mixed race by way of the North African Moor Muslim occupation of Iberia intermixing their genes into the population. Similarly to Spaniards, Portuguese, English, German and many other European nations over the centuries, many Latin Americans also possess colonial era New Christian Sephardic Jewish ancestry. To a lesser extent other Latin Americans possess at least partial ancestry of more recent post-colonial ancestry from Ashkenazi Jews, Levantine Arabs (Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian), as well as Chinese and Japanese among others. Thus, as a whole, Latin Americans are a multiracial population, with degrees of admixture levels that vary from person to person, from varying global genetic sources.
According to the 2019 American Community Survey, 65.5% of Hispanic and Latinos identified as White. The largest numbers of those who consider themselves White Hispanics come from within the Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Colombian and Spanish communities.
Over a quarter of Hispanic/Latino Americans identify as "some other race". These "some other race" Hispanics are usually assumed to be mestizos or mulattos. A significant percentage of the Hispanic and Latino population self-identifies as Mestizo, particularly the Mexican and Central American community. Mestizo is not a racial category in the U.S. Census, but signifies someone who is conscious of their Native American and European ancestry. Of all Americans who checked the box "Some Other Race", 97 percent were Hispanic.
Almost one-third of the multi-race respondents were Hispanics. Most of the multi-racial population in the Mexican, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan communities are of mixed European and Native American ancestry (Mestizo), while most of the multiracial population in the Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban communities are of mixed European, African, and Native American ancestry (Mulatto/Tri-racial).
The largest numbers of Black Hispanics are from the Spanish Caribbean islands, including the Cuban, Dominican, Panamanian and Puerto Rican communities.
The few hundred thousand Asian Hispanics are of various backgrounds, among which include Filipino mestizos with Spanish background, Asians of Latin American background (examples including Chinese Cubans and Japanese Peruvians) and those of recent mixed Asian and Hispanic background. Note that Filipinos are generally not counted as Hispanic, despite the fact that the Spanish colonized the Philippines and many Filipinos have Spanish names.
Hispanic and Latinos are often racially of Native American ancestry. For example, of Latinos deriving from northern Mexico, consider themselves White or acknowledge Native American ancestry with some European mixtures, while of those deriving from southern Mexican ancestry, the majority are Native American or of Native American and European Ancestry. In Guatemala, Mayans are majority, while in El Salvador, people of Native American descent are the majority. In the Dominican Republic, the population are largely made up of people with inter-mixed ancestries, in which there are even levels of European ancestry, with smaller numbers of Whites and Blacks as well.
In Puerto Rico, people with multi-racial ancestry are the majority. There are also populations of predominantly of African descent as well as populations of American Indian descent as well as those with intermixed ancestries. Cubans are mostly of White Latin American ancestry, however there are also populations of Blacks and multi-racials as well. The race and culture of each Hispanic/Latino country and their United States diaspora differs by history and geography.
Persons of Mexican heritage represent the bulk of the US Hispanic/Latino population. Most Mexican Americans already with a multi-generational presence in the USA predating the 1970s are of predominantly European origin, while most recent Mexican Americans that have migrated or descend from migrants to the United States post-1980s are of predominantly Native American descent with varying levels of European admixture.
Official sources report that the racial makeup of Hispanic/Latino subgroups from the countries Brazil, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Chile, have the highest proportion, for their respective countries, of Latinos in the US self-identifying as white – though in raw numbers the highest number of White Latinos in the US are Mexican Americans. As a result of their racial diversity, Hispanics form an ethnicity sharing a language (Spanish) and cultural heritage, rather than a race. The phenomenon of biracial people who are predominantly of European descent identifying as white is not limited to Hispanics or Spanish speakers but is also common among English speakers as well: researchers found that most White Americans with less than 28 percent African-American ancestry say they are White; above that threshold, people tended to describe themselves as African-American.
As of 2014, one third, or 17.9 million, of the Hispanic population was younger than 18 and a quarter, 14.6 million, were Millennials. This makes them more than half of the Hispanic population within the United States.
See also: Hispanic-serving institution
With the increasing Hispanic population in the United States, Latinos have had a considerable impact on the K–12 system. In 2011–12, Latinos comprised 24% of all enrollments in the United States, including 52% and 51% of enrollment in California and Texas, respectively. Further research shows the Latino population will continue to grow in the United States, implicating that more Latinos will populate U.S schools.
The state of Latino education shows some promise. First, Hispanic students attending pre-K or kindergarten were more likely to attend full-day programs. Second, Latinos in elementary education were the second largest group represented in gifted and talented programs. Third, Hispanics' average NAEP math and reading scores have consistently increased over the last 10 years. Finally, Latinos were more likely than other groups, including whites, to go to college.
However, their academic achievement in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education lag behind other groups. For instance, their average math and reading NAEP scores were lower than every other group, except African Americans, and have the highest dropout rate of any group, 13% despite decreasing from 24%.
To explain these disparities, some scholars have suggested there is a Latino "Education Crisis" due to failed school and social policies. To this end, scholars have further offered several potential reasons including language barriers, poverty, and immigrant/nativity status resulting in Latinos not performing well academically.
Currently, Hispanic students make up 80% of English language learners in the United States. In 2008–2009, 5.3 million students were classified as English Language Learners (ELLs) in pre-K to 12th grade. This is a result of many students entering the education system at different ages, although the majority of ELLs are not foreign born. In order to provide English instruction for Latino students there have been a multitude of English Language programs. However, the great majority of these programs are English Immersion, which arguably undermines the students' culture and knowledge of their primary language. As such, there continues to be great debate within schools as to which program can address these language disparities.
Undocumented immigrants have not always had access to compulsory education in the United States. However, since the landmark Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe in 1982, immigrants have received access to K-12 education. This significantly impacted all immigrant groups, including Latinos. However, their academic achievement is dependent upon several factors including, but not limited to time of arrival and schooling in country of origin. Moreover, Latinos' immigration/nativity status plays a major role regarding their academic achievement. For instance, first- and second- generation Latinos outperform their later generational counterparts. Additionally, their aspirations appear to decrease as well. This has major implications on their postsecondary futures.
Those with a bachelor's degree or higher ranges from 50% of Venezuelans compared to 18% for Ecuadorians 25 years and older. Amongst the largest Hispanic groups, those with a bachelor's or higher was 25% for Cuban Americans, 16% of Puerto Ricans, 15% of Dominicans, and 11% for Mexican Americans. Over 21% of all second-generation Dominican Americans have college degrees, slightly below the national average (28%) but significantly higher than U.S.-born Mexican Americans (13%) and U.S.-born Puerto Rican Americans (12%).
Hispanics make up the second or third largest ethnic group in Ivy League universities, considered to be the most prestigious in the United States. Hispanic and Latino enrollment at Ivy League universities has gradually increased over the years. Today, Hispanics make up between 8% of students at Yale University to 15% at Columbia University. For example, 18% of students in the Harvard University Class of 2018 are Hispanic.
Hispanics have significant enrollment in many other top universities such as University of Texas at El Paso (70% of students), Florida International University (63%), University of Miami (27%), and MIT, UCLA and UC-Berkeley at 15% each. At Stanford University, Hispanics are the third largest ethnic group behind non-Hispanic Whites and Asians, at 18% of the student population.
While Hispanics study in colleges and universities throughout the country, some choose to attend federally-designated Hispanic-serving institutions, institutions that are accredited, degree-granting, public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment. There are over 270 institutions of higher education that have been designated as an HSI.
|Universities with the largest Hispanic undergraduate enrollment (2013)
|Universities with the largest Hispanic graduate enrollment (2013)
|Hispanic student enrollment in university and college systems (2012–2013)
As of 2016, life expectancy for Hispanic and Latino Americans is 81.8 years, which is higher than the life expectancy for non-Hispanic whites (78.6 years). Research on the "Hispanic paradox"—the well-established apparent mortality advantage of Hispanic Americans compared to non-Hispanic whites, despite the latter's more advantaged socioeconomic status—has been principally explained by "(1) health-related migration to and from the US; and (2) social and cultural protection mechanisms, such as maintenance of healthy lifestyles and behaviors adopted in the countries of origin, and availability of extensive social networks in the US." The "salmon bias" hypothesis, which suggests that the Hispanic health advantage is attributable to higher rates of return migration among less-healthy migrants, has received some support in the scholarly literature. A 2019 study, examining the comparatively better health of foreign-born American Hispanics, challenged the hypothesis that a stronger orientation toward the family (familism) contributed to this advantage. Some scholars have suggested that the Latino mortality advantage is likely to disappear due to the higher rates of obesity and diabetes among Latinos relative to non-Hispanic whites, although lower rates of smoking (and thus smoking-attributable mortality) among Latinos may counteract this to some extent.
As of 2017, about 19% of Hispanic and Latino Americans lack health insurance coverage, which is the highest of all ethnic groups except for American Indians and Alaska Natives. In terms of extending health coverage, Hispanics benefited the most among U.S. ethnic groups from the Affordable Care Act (ACA); among non-elderly Hispanics, the uninsured rate declined from 26.7% in 2013 to 14.2% in 2017. Among the population of non-elderly uninsured Hispanic population in 2017, about 53% were non-citizens, about 39% were U.S.-born citizens, and about 9% were naturalized citizens. (The ACA does not help undocumented immigrants or legal immigrants with less than five years' residence in the United States gain coverage).
According to a 2013 study, Mexican women who have the highest uninsured rate (54.6%) as compared to other immigrants (26.2%), blacks (22.5%) and non-Hispanic white (13.9%). According to the study, Mexican women are the largest female immigrant group in the United States and are also the most at risk for developing preventable health conditions. Multiple factors such as limited access to health care, legal status and income increase the risk of developing preventable health conditions because many undocumented immigrants postpone routine visits to the doctor until they become seriously ill.
Some families who are in the process of illegally crossing borders can suffer being caught and separated by border patrol agents. Migrants are also in danger of separation if they do not bring sufficient resources such as water for all members to continue crossing. Once illegal migrants have arrived to the new country, they may fear workplace raids where illegal immigrants are detained and deported.
Family separation puts U.S born children, undocumented children and their illegal immigrant parents at risk for depression and family maladaptive syndrome. The effects are often long-term and the impact extends to the community level. Children may experience emotional traumas and long-term changes in behaviors. Additionally, when parents are forcefully removed, children often develop feelings of abandonment and they might blame themselves for what has happened to their family. Some children that are victims to illegal border crossings that result in family separation believe in the possibility of never seeing their parents again. These effects can cause negative parent-child attachment. Reunification may be difficult because of immigration laws and re-entry restrictions which further affect the mental health of children and parents.
Parents who leave their home country also experience negative mental health experiences. According to a study published in 2013, 46% of Mexican migrant men who participated in the study reported elevated levels of depressive symptoms. In recent years, the length of stay for migrants has increased, from 3 years to nearly a decade. Migrants who were separated from their families, either married or single, experienced greater depression than married men accompanied by their spouses. Furthermore, the study also revealed that men who are separated from their families are more prone to harsher living conditions such as overcrowded housing and are under a greater deal of pressure to send remittance to support their families. These conditions put additional stress on the migrants and often worsens their depression. Families who migrated together experience better living conditions, receive emotional encouragement and motivation from each other, and share a sense of solidarity. They are also more likely to successfully navigate the employment and health care systems in the new country, and are not pressured to send remittances back home.
Main article: Hispanophobia
It is reported that 31% of Latinos have reported personal experiences with discrimination whilst 82% of Latinos believe that discrimination plays a crucial role in whether or not they will find success while they are living in the U.S. The current legislation on immigration policies also plays a crucial role in creating a hostile and discriminatory environment for immigrants. In order to measure the discrimination which immigrants are being subjected to, researchers must take into account the immigrants' perception that they are being targeted for discrimination and they must also be aware that instances of discrimination can also vary based on: personal experiences, social attitudes and ethnic group barriers. The immigrant experience is associated with lower-self esteem, internalized symptoms and behavioral problems amongst Mexican youth. It is also known that more time which is spent living in the U.S. is associated with increased feelings of distress, depression and anxiety. Like many other Hispanic and Latin American groups that migrate to the United States, these groups are often stigmatized. An example of this stigmatization occurred after 9/11, when people who were considered threats to national security were frequently described with terms like migrant and the "Latino Other" along with other terms like refugee and asylum seeker.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 significantly changed how the United States dealt with immigration. Under this new law, immigrants who overstayed their visas or were found to be in the U.S illegally were subject to be detained and/or deported without legal representation. Immigrants who broke these laws found themselves vulnerable and they may not be allowed back into the country. Similarly, this law made it more difficult for other immigrants who want to enter the U.S or gain legal status. These laws also expanded the types of offenses that can be considered worthy of deportation for documented immigrants. Policies enacted by future presidents further limit the number of immigrants entering the country and their expedited removal.
Many illegal immigrant families cannot enjoy doing everyday activities without exercising caution because they fear encountering immigration officers which limits their involvement in community events. Undocumented families also do not trust government institutions and services. Because of their fear of encountering immigration officers, illegal immigrants often feel ostracized and isolated which can lead to the development of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The harmful effects of being ostracized from the rest of society are not limited to just that of undocumented immigrants but it affects the entire family even if some of the members are of legal status. Children often reported having been victims of bullying in school by classmates because their parents are undocumented. This can cause them to feel isolated and develop a sense of inferiority which can negatively impact their academic performance.
Despite the struggles Latinos families encounter, they have found ways to keep motivated. Many immigrants use religion as a source of motivation. Mexican immigrants believed that the difficulties they face are a part of God's bigger plan and believe their life will get better in the end. They kept their faith strong and pray everyday, hoping that God will keep their families safe. Immigrants participate in church services and bond with other immigrants that share the same experiences. Undocumented Latinos also find support from friends, family and the community that serve as coping mechanisms. Some Latinos state that their children are the reason they have the strength to keep on going. They want their children to have a future and give them things they aren't able to have themselves. The community is able to provide certain resources that immigrant families need such as tutoring for their children, financial assistance and counseling services. Some identified that maintaining a positive mental attitude helped them cope with the stresses they experience. Many immigrants refuse to live their life in constant fear which leads to depression in order to enjoy life in the U.S. Since many immigrants have unstable sources of income, many plan ahead in order to prevent future financial stress. They put money aside and find ways to save money instead of spend it such as learning to fix appliances themselves.
Many Latino families migrate to find better economic opportunities in order to send remittances back home. Being undocumented limits the possibilities of jobs that immigrants undertake and many struggle to find a stable job. Many Latinos report that companies turned them down because they do not have a Social Security number. If they are able to obtain a job, immigrants risk losing it if their employer finds out they are unable to provide proof of residency or citizenship. Many look towards agencies that do not ask for identification, but those jobs are often unreliable. In order to prevent themselves from being detained and deported, many have to work under exploitation. In a study, a participant reported "If someone knows that you don't have the papers. . .that person is a danger. Many people will con them. . . if they know you don't have the papers, with everything they say 'hey I'm going to call immigration on you.'". These conditions lower the income that Latino families bring to their household and some find living each day very difficult. When an undocumented parent is deported or detained, income will be lowered significantly if the other parent also supports the family financially. The parent who is left has to look after the family and might find working difficult to manage along with other responsibilities. Even if families aren't separated, Latinos are constantly living in fear that they will lose their economic footing.
Living in poverty has been linked to depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, crime activities and frequent drug use among youth. Families with low incomes are unable to afford adequate housing and some of them are evicted. The environment in which the children of undocumented immigrants grow up in are often composed of poor air quality, noise, and toxins which prevent healthy development. Furthermore, these neighborhoods are prone to violence and gang activities, forcing the families to live in constant fear which can contribute to the development of PTSD, aggression and depression.
|Ethnicity or nationality||Income|
In 2017, the US Census reported the median household incomes of Hispanic and Latino Americans to be $50,486. This is the third consecutive annual increase in median household income for Hispanic-origin households.
According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate Hispanics was 18.3 percent in 2017, down from 19.4 percent in 2016. Hispanics accounted for 10.8 million individuals in poverty. In comparison, the average poverty rates in 2017 for non-Hispanic White Americans was 8.7 percent with 17 million individuals in poverty, Asian Americans was 10.0 percent with 2 million individuals in poverty, and African Americans was 21.2 percent with 9 million individuals in poverty.
Among the largest Hispanic groups during 2015 was: Honduran Americans & Dominican Americans (27%), Guatemalan Americans (26%), Puerto Ricans (24%), Mexican Americans (23%), Salvadoran Americans (20%), Cuban Americans and Venezuelan Americans (17%), Ecuadorian Americans (15%), Nicaraguan Americans (14%), Colombian Americans (13%), Spanish Americans & Argentinian Americans (11%) and Peruvian Americans (10%).
Poverty affects many underrepresented students as racial/ethnic minorities tend to stay isolated within pockets of low-income communities. This results in several inequalities, such as "school offerings, teacher quality, curriculum, counseling and all manner of things that both keep students engaged in school and prepare them to graduate". In the case of Latinos, the poverty rate for Hispanic children in 2004 was 28.6 percent. Moreover, with this lack of resources, schools reproduce these inequalities for generations to come. In order to assuage poverty, many Hispanic families can turn to social and community services as resources.
The geographic, political, social, economic and racial diversity of Hispanic and Latino Americans makes all Hispanics very different depending on their family heritage and/or national origin. Many times, there are many cultural similarities between Hispanics from neighboring countries than from more distant countries, ie Spanish Caribbean, Southern Cone, Central America etc. Yet several features tend to unite Hispanics from these diverse backgrounds.
As one of the most important uniting factors of Hispanic Americans, Spanish is an important part of Hispanic culture. Teaching Spanish to children is often one of the most valued skills taught amongst Hispanic families. Spanish is not only closely tied with the person's family, heritage, and overall culture, but valued for increased opportunities in business and one's future professional career. A 2013 Pew Research survey showed that 95% of Hispanic adults said "it's important that future generations of Hispanics speak Spanish." Given the United States' proximity to other Spanish-speaking countries, Spanish is being passed on to future American generations. Amongst second-generation Hispanics, 80% speak fluent Spanish, and amongst third-generation Hispanics, 40% speak fluent Spanish. Spanish is also the most popular language taught in the United States.
Hispanics have revived the Spanish language in the United States. First brought to North America by the Spanish during the Spanish colonial period in the 16th century, Spanish was the first European language spoken in the Americas. Spanish is the oldest European language in the United States, spoken uninterruptedly for four and a half centuries, since the founding of Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565. Today, 90% of all Hispanics and Latinos speak English, and at least 78% speak fluent Spanish. Additionally, 2.8 million non-Hispanic Americans also speak Spanish at home for a total of 41.1 million.
With 40% of Hispanic and Latino Americans being immigrants, 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 home, at least 69% of all Hispanics over the age of 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.
The Spanish dialects spoken in the United States differ depending on the country of origin of the person or the person's family heritage. However, generally, Spanish spoken in the Southwest is Mexican Spanish (or Chicano Spanish). An old, colonial variety of Spanish is spoken by descendants of the early Spanish colonists in New Mexico and Colorado, which is New Mexican Spanish. One of the major distinctions of New Mexican Spanish is its heavy use of colonial vocabulary and verb tenses that make New Mexican Spanish uniquely American amongst Spanish dialects. The Spanish spoken in the East Coast is Caribbean Spanish and is heavily influenced by the Spanish of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Canarian Spanish is the historic Spanish dialect spoken by the descendants of the earliest Spanish colonists beginning in the 18th century in Louisiana. Spanish spoken elsewhere throughout the country varies, although is generally Mexican Spanish.
Heritage Spanish speakers tend to speak Spanish with near-native level phonology, but a more limited command of morphosyntax. Hispanics who speak Spanish as a second language often speak with English accents.
See also: List of English words of Spanish origin
Hispanics have influenced the way Americans speak with the introduction of many Spanish words into the English language. Amongst younger generations of Hispanics, Spanglish, or a mix of Spanish and English, may be a common way of speaking. Although they are fluent in both languages, speakers will switch between Spanish and English throughout the conversation. Spanglish is particularly common in Hispanic-majority cities and communities such as Miami, Hialeah, San Antonio, Los Angeles and New York City.
Hispanics have also influenced the way English is spoken in the United States. In Miami, for example, the Miami dialect has evolved as the most common form of English spoken and heard in Miami today. This is a native dialect of English, and was developed amongst second and third generations of Cuban Americans in Miami. Today, it is commonly heard everywhere throughout the city. Gloria Estefan and Enrique Iglesias are examples of people who speak with the Miami dialect. Another major English dialect, is spoken by Chicanos and Tejanos in the Southwestern United States, called Chicano English. George Lopez and Selena are examples of speakers of Chicano English. An English dialect spoken by Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic groups is called New York Latino English.
A Pew Center study in 2019, found that the majority of Hispanic Americans are Christians (72%), Among American Hispanics, as of 2018–19, 47% are Catholic, 24% are Protestant, 1% are Mormon, fewer than 1% are Orthodox Christian, 3% are members of non-Christian faiths, and 23% are unaffiliated. The proportion of Hispanics who are Catholic has dropped from 2009 (when it was 57%), while the proportion of unaffiliated Hispanics has increased since 2009 (when it was 15%). Among Hispanic Protestant community, most are evangelical, but some belong to mainline denominations. Compared to Catholic, unaffiliated, and mainline Protestant Hispanics, Evangelical Protestant Hispanics are substantially more likely to attend services weekly, pray daily, and adhere to biblical liberalism. As of 2014, about 67% of Hispanic Protestants and about 52% of Hispanic Catholics were renewalist, meaning that they described themselves as Pentecostal or charismatic Christians (in the Catholic tradition, called Catholic Charismatic Renewal).
Catholic affiliation is much higher among first-generation than it is among second- or third-generation Hispanic or Latino immigrants, who exhibit a fairly high rate of conversion to Protestantism or to the unaffiliated camp. According to Andrew Greeley, as many as 600,000 American Latinos leave Catholicism for Protestant churches every year, and this figure is much higher in Texas and Florida. Hispanic or Latino Catholics are developing youth and social programs to retain members.
Hispanics make up a substantial proportion (almost 40%) of the Catholics in the United States, although the number of American Hispanic priests is low relative to Hispanic membership in the church. In 2019, José Horacio Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and a naturalized American citizen born in Mexico, was elected as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The United States is home to thousands of Spanish-language media outlets, which range in size from giant commercial and some non-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 the outlets are online versions of their printed counterparts and some online exclusively.
Increased use of Spanish-language media leads to increased levels of group consciousness, according to survey data. The differences in attitudes are due to the diverging goals of Spanish-language and English-language media. The effect of using Spanish-language media serves to promote a sense of group consciousness among Latinos by reinforcing roots in Latin America and the commonalities among Latinos of varying national origin.
The first Latino-American owned major film studio in the U.S. is based in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2017, Ozzie and Will Areu purchased Tyler Perry's former studio to establish Areu Bros. Studios.
Spanish language radio is the largest non-English broadcasting media. While other foreign language broadcasting declined steadily, Spanish broadcasting grew steadily from the 1920s to the 1970s. The 1930s were boom years. The early success depended on the concentrated geographical audience in Texas and the Southwest. American stations were close to Mexico which enabled a steady circular flow of entertainers, executives and technicians, and stimulated the creative initiatives of Hispanic radio executives, brokers, and advertisers. Ownership was increasingly concentrated in the 1960s and 1970s. The industry sponsored the now-defunct trade publication Sponsor from the late 1940s to 1968. Spanish-language radio has influenced American and Latino discourse on key current affairs issues such as citizenship and immigration.
Notable Hispanic/Latino-oriented media outlets include:
Due to different cultures throughout Latin America, there are numerous music forms throughout the Latin American countries, with differing sounds and origins. Many Hispanics bring their love for these musical genres from their home countries to the United States. Hispanics who recently arrived tend to mostly listen to Spanish music, while Hispanics who been living in the United States for generations tend to listen more to English music. Reggaeton and Hip Hop are 2 of the most popular genres for Hispanic/Latino youth in the United States.
Soccer is the most popular sport for Hispanics from outside of the Caribbean region, especially immigrants. Baseball is most popular among Caribbean Hispanics. Boxing, Football, and Basketball are also popular sports among Hispanics.
Latino food, particularly Mexican food, has influenced American cuisine and eating habits. Mexican cuisine has become so mainstream in American culture that many no longer see it as an ethnic food. Across the United States, tortillas and salsa are arguably becoming as common as hamburger buns and ketchup. Tortilla chips have surpassed potato chips in annual sales, and plantain chips popular in Caribbean cuisines have continued to increase sales. Tropical fruit, such as mango, guava and passion fruit (maracuyá), have become more popular and are now common flavors in desserts, candies and food dishes in the United States.
Due to the large Mexican-American population in the Southwestern United States, and its proximity to Mexico, Mexican food there is believed to be some of the best in the United States. Cubans brought Cuban cuisine to Miami and today, cortaditos, pastelitos de guayaba and empanadas are common mid-day snacks in the city. Cuban culture has changed Miami's coffee drinking habits, and today a café con leche or a cortadito is commonly had at one of the city's numerous coffee shops. The Cuban sandwich, developed in Miami, is now a staple and icon of the city's cuisine and culture.
Hispanic and Latino culture places a strong value on family, and is commonly taught to Hispanic children as one of the most important values in life. Statistically, Hispanic families tend to have larger and closer knit families than the American average. Hispanic families tend to prefer to live near other family members. This may mean that three or sometimes four generations may be living in the same household or near each other, although four generations is uncommon in the United States. The role of grandparents is believed to be very important in the upbringing of children.
Hispanics tend to be very group-oriented, and an emphasis is placed on the well-being of the family above the individual. The extended family plays an important part of many Hispanic families, and frequent social, family gatherings are common. Traditional rites of passages, particularly Roman Catholic sacraments: such as baptisms, birthdays, First Holy Communions, quinceañeras, Confirmations, graduations and weddings are all popular moments of family gatherings and celebrations in Hispanic families.
Education is another important priority for Hispanic families. Education is seen as the key towards continued upward mobility in the United States among Hispanic families. A 2010 study by the Associated Press showed that Hispanics place a higher emphasis on education than the average American. Hispanics expect their children to graduate university.
Latin American youth today stay at home with their parents longer than before. This is due to more years spent studying and the difficulty of finding a paid job that meets their aspirations.
Hispanic Americans, like immigrant groups before them, are out-marrying at high rates. Out-marriages comprised 17.4% of all existing Hispanic marriages in 2008. The rate was higher for newlyweds (which excludes immigrants who are already married): Among all newlyweds in 2010, 25.7% of all Hispanics married a non-Hispanic (this compares to out-marriage rates of 9.4% of whites, 17.1% of blacks, and 27.7% of Asians). The rate was larger for native-born Hispanics, with 36.2% of native-born Hispanics (both men and women) out-marrying compared to 14.2% of foreign-born Hispanics. The difference is attributed to recent immigrants tending to marry within their immediate immigrant community due to commonality of language, proximity, familial connections, and familiarity.
In 2008, 81% of Hispanics who married out married non-Hispanic Whites, 9% married non-Hispanic Blacks, 5% non-Hispanic Asians, and the remainder married non-Hispanic, multi-racial partners.
Of approximately 275,500 new interracial or interethnic marriages in 2010, 43.3% were White-Hispanic (compared to White-Asian at 14.4%, White-Black at 11.9%, and other combinations at 30.4%; "other combinations" consists of pairings between different minority groups, multi-racial people, and American Indians). Unlike those for marriage to Blacks and Asians, intermarriage rates of Hispanics to Whites do not vary by gender. The combined median earnings of White/Hispanic couples are lower than those of White/White couples but higher than those of Hispanic/Hispanic couples. 23% of Hispanic men who married White women have a college degree compared to only 10% of Hispanic men who married a Hispanic woman. 33% of Hispanic women who married a White husband are college-educated compared to 13% of Hispanic women who married a Hispanic man.
Attitudes among non-Hispanics toward intermarriage with Hispanics are mostly favorable, with 81% of Whites, 76% of Asians and 73% of Blacks "being fine" with a member of their family marrying a Hispanic and an additional 13% of Whites, 19% of Asians and 16% of Blacks "being bothered but accepting of the marriage". Only 2% of Whites, 4% of Asians, and 5% of Blacks would not accept a marriage of their family member to a Hispanic.
Hispanic attitudes toward intermarriage with non-Hispanics are likewise favorable, with 81% "being fine" with marriages to Whites and 73% "being fine" with marriages to Blacks. A further 13% admitted to "being bothered but accepting" of a marriage of a family member to a White and 22% admitted to "being bothered but accepting" of a marriage of a family member to a Black. Only 5% of Hispanics objected outright marriage of a family member to a non-Hispanic Black and 2% to a non-Hispanic White.
Unlike intermarriage with other racial groups, intermarriage with non-Hispanic Blacks varies by nationality of origin. Puerto Ricans have by far the highest rates of intermarriage with blacks, of all major Hispanic national groups, who also has the highest overall intermarriage rate among Hispanics. Cubans have the highest rate of intermarriage with non-Hispanic Whites, of all major Hispanic national groups, and are the most assimilated into White American culture. Mexican Americans, who are the majority of the US Hispanic population, are most likely to intermarry with Whites and Asians when marrying out. However, similar to non-Hispanic blacks and whites, there are many Hispanics who choose to stick to other Hispanics when it comes to marriage and family creation, this sentiment is especially true among the majority of Dominicans, as well as some Mexicans, Colombians, and Hispanics from various Central American countries.
As Latino migrants become the norm in the United States, the effects of this migration on the identity of these migrants and their kin becomes most evident in the younger generations. Crossing the borders changes the identities of both the youth and their families. Often "one must pay special attention to the role expressive culture plays as both entertainment and as a site in which identity is played out, empowered, and reformed" because it is "sometimes in opposition to dominant norms and practices and sometimes in conjunction with them." The exchange of their culture of origin with American culture creates a dichotomy within the values that the youth find important, therefore changing what it means to be Latino in the global sphere.
Along with feeling that they are neither from the country of their ethnic background nor the United States, a new identity within the United States is formed called latinidad. This is especially seen in cosmopolitan social settings like New York City, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Underway is "the intermeshing of different Latino subpopulations has laid the foundations for the emergence and ongoing evolution of a strong sense of latinidad" which establishes a "sense of cultural affinity and identity deeply rooted in what many Latinos perceive to be a shared historical, spiritual, aesthetic and linguistic heritage, and a growing sense of cultural affinity and solidarity in the social context of the United States." This unites Latinos as one, creating cultural kin with other Latino ethnicities.
Migration to the United States can change identity for Latino youth in various way, including how they carry their gendered identities. In traditional Latino households, women and young girls are homebodies or muchachas de la casa ("girls of the house"), showing that they abide "by the cultural norms ... [of] respectability, chastity, and family honor [as] valued by the [Latino] community". However, when Latina women come to the United States, they tend to adapt to the perceived social norms of this new country, and their social location changes as they become more independent and able to live without the financial support of their families or partners. The unassimilated community views these adapting women as being de la calle ("of [or from] the street"), transgressive and sexually promiscuous. Some Latino families in the United States "deal with young women's failure to adhere to these culturally prescribed norms of proper gendered behavior in a variety of ways, including sending them to live in ... [the sending country] with family members, regardless of whether or not ... [the young women] are sexually active".
Along with the increase in independence amongst these young women, there is a diminution in the power of vergüenza ("shame") in many of the relations between the two sexes. To have vergüenza is to assert male dominance in all spheres, especially in a man's relationship with his female partner; the concept is enforced through shaming males into comporting themselves with a macho (literally, "male" or "masculine") archetype in order to establish respect, dominance, and manliness in their social ambits. Although many Latina women in the homeland as well as older Latina women in the United States reinforce this dynamic by not wanting a man who is a sinvergüenza ("shameless one"), some Latinx youth accept the label of sinvergüenza and now wear it proudly. Feeling caught between two distinct societies causes youth to "meditate between the two cultures and [instills] ambivalence toward feeling a lack of vergüenza", resulting in a group of youth who celebrate being sinvergüenza while still acknowledging the concept of vergüenza within a part of their increasingly composite culture.
With the Catholic Church remaining a large influence on the Latino culture, the subject of promiscuity and sexuality is often considered taboo. It is taught in many Latino cultures that best way to remain pure of sin and not become pregnant is to remain celibate and heterosexual. All are to be straight and women are to be virgins. A woman must carry herself like Mary in order to receive respect and keep the family's honor.
As a result of the rapid growth of the Hispanic population, there has been some tension with other minority populations, especially the African American population, as Hispanics have increasingly moved into once exclusively Black areas. There has also been increasing cooperation between minority groups to work together to attain political influence.
Main article: Hispanic and Latino American politics
|Name||Political party||State||First elected||Ancestry|
|Sonia Sotomayor||N/A||2009[a]||Puerto Rican|
|Chris Sununu||Republican||New Hampshire||2016||Cuban|
|Michelle Lujan Grisham||Democrat||New Mexico||2018||Hispanos of New Mexico|
|Bob Menéndez||Democrat||New Jersey||2006||Cuban|
|Catherine Cortez Masto||Democrat||Nevada||2016||Mexican|
|Ben Ray Luján||Democrat||New Mexico||2020||Hispanos of New Mexico|
|US House of Representatives|
|José E. Serrano||Democrat||New York||1990||Puerto Rican|
|Nydia Velázquez||Democrat||New York||1992||Puerto Rican|
|Henry Roberto Cuellar||Democrat||Texas||2004||Mexican|
|Albio Sires||Democrat||New Jersey||2006||Cuban|
|Filemon Vela Jr.||Democrat||Texas||2012||Mexican|
|Alex Mooney||Republican||West Virginia||2014||Cuban|
|Adriano Espaillat||Democrat||New York||2016||Dominican|
|Darren Soto||Democrat||Florida||2016||Puerto Rican|
|Antonio Delgado||Democrat||New York||2018||Puerto Rican|
|Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez||Democrat||New York||2018||Puerto Rican|
|Xochitl Torres Small||Democrat||New Mexico||2018||Mexican|
Hispanics and Latinos differ on their political views depending on their location and background. The majority (57%) either identify as or support the Democrats, and 23% identify as Republicans. This 34-point gap as of December 2007 was an increase from the gap of 21 points 16 months earlier.
Cuban Americans, Colombian Americans, Chilean Americans, and Venezuelan Americans tend to favor conservative political ideologies and support the Republicans. Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and Dominican Americans tend to favor progressive political ideologies and support the Democrats. However, because the latter groups are far more numerous—as, again, Mexican Americans alone are 64% of Hispanics and Latinos—the Democratic Party is considered to be in a far stronger position with the ethnic group overall.
Some political organizations associated with Hispanic and Latino Americans are League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the United Farm Workers, the Cuban American National Foundation and the National Institute for Latino Policy.
The United States has a population of 50 million of Hispanic and Latino Americans, of whom 27 million are citizens eligible to vote (13% of total eligible voters); therefore, Hispanics have a very important effect on presidential elections since the vote difference between two main parties is usually around 4%.
In the 1996 presidential election, 72% of Hispanics and Latinos backed President Bill Clinton. In 2000, the Democratic total fell to 62%, and went down again in 2004, with Democrat John Kerry winning Hispanics 58–40 against 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 Kerry in 2004, and both Arizona and New Mexico Latinos by a smaller 56–43 margin. Texas Latinos were split nearly evenly, favoring Kerry 50–49 over their favorite son candidate and Florida Latinos (who are mostly 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 Hispanic immigration and Republican-related Congressional scandals, Hispanics and Latinos went as strongly Democratic as they have since the Clinton years. Exit polls showed the group 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. 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; majority-Latino counties overwhelmingly backed Rodriguez and majority European-American counties overwhelmingly backed Bonilla.
In the 2008 Presidential election's Democratic primary Hispanics and Latinos participated in larger numbers than before, with Hillary Clinton receiving most of the group's support. Pundits discussed whether Hispanics and Latinos would not vote for Barack Obama because he was African American. Hispanics/Latinos voted 2 to 1 for Mrs. Clinton, even among the younger demographic. In other groups, younger voters went overwhelmingly for Obama. Among Hispanics, 28% said race was involved in their decision, as opposed to 13% for (non-Hispanic) whites. Obama defeated Clinton.
In the matchup between Obama and Republican candidate John McCain, Hispanics and Latinos supported Obama with 59% to McCain's 29% in the June 30 Gallup tracking poll. This was higher than expected, since McCain a had been a leader of the comprehensive immigration reform effort (John McCain was born in Panama to parents who were serving in the U.S. Navy, but raised in the United States). However, McCain had retreated from reform during the Republican primary, damaging his standing among Hispanics and Latinos. Obama took advantage of the situation by running ads in Spanish highlighting McCain's reversal.
In the general election, 67% of Hispanics and Latinos voted for Obama. with a relatively strong turnout in states such as Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Virginia, helping Obama carry those formerly Republican states. Obama won 70% of non-Cuban Hispanics and 35% of the traditionally Republican Cuban Americans who have a strong presence in Florida. The relative growth of non-Cuban vs Cuban Hispanics also contributed to his carrying Florida's Latinos with 57% of the vote.
While employment and the economy were top concerns for Hispanics and Latinos, almost 90% of Latino voters rated immigration as "somewhat important" or "very important" in a poll taken after the election. Republican opposition to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 had damaged the party's appeal to Hispanics and Latinos, especially in swing states such as Florida, Nevada and New Mexico. In a Gallup poll of Hispanic voters taken in the final days of June 2008, only 18% of participants identified as Republicans.
Hispanic and Latinos voted even more heavily for Democrats in the 2012 election with the Democratic incumbent Barack Obama receiving 71% and the Republican challenger Mitt Romney receiving about 27% of the vote. Some Latino leaders were offended by remarks Romney made during a fundraiser, when he suggested that cultural differences and "the hand of providence" help explain why Israelis are more economically successful than Palestinians, and why similar economic disparities exist between other neighbors, such as the United States and Mexico, or Chile and Ecuador. A senior aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the remarks racist, as did American political scientis Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute of Latino Policy. Mitt Romney father was born to American parents in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico.
"More convincing data" from the 2016 United States presidential election from the polling firm Latino Decisions indicates that Clinton received a higher share of the Hispanic vote, and Trump a lower share, than the Edison exit polls showed. Using wider, more geographically and linguistically representative sampling, Latino Decisions concluded that Clinton won 79% of Hispanic voters (also an improvement over Obama's share in 2008 and 2012), while Trump won only 18% (lower than previous Republicans such as Romney and McCain). Additionally, the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that Clinton's share of the Hispanic vote was one percentage point higher than Obama's in 2012, while Trump's was seven percentage points lower than Romney's.
On June 26, 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a millennial, won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th congressional district covering parts of The Bronx and Queens in New York City, defeating the incumbent, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, in what has been described as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election season and at the age of 29 years, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and has been endorsed by various politically progressive organizations and individuals. According to a Pew Research Center report, the 2020 election will be the first one when Latinos are the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the electorate. A record 32 million Latinos were projected to be eligible to vote in the presidential election, many of them first-time voters. On September 15, 2020, President Donald J. Trump announces his intent to nominate and appoint Eduardo Verastegui, to be a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Prosperity if re-elected after days of the Democratic convention.
Latino communities across the U.S. were long held as a single voting bloc, but economic, geographic and cultural differences show stark divides in how Latino Americans have cast their ballots in 2020. Latinos helped deliver Florida to Donald Trump in part because of Cuban Americans and Venezuelan American (along with smaller populations such as Nicaraguan Americans and Chilean Americans); President Trump's reelection campaign ran pushing a strong anti-socialism message as a strategy in Florida, to their success. However the perceived anti-immigrant rhetoric resonated with Arizona and the COVID-19 pandemic (Arizona being one of the states hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States). The takeaway may be this may be the last election cycle that the "Latino vote" as a whole is more talked about instead of particular communities within it, such as Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans and so on. In Texas like in Arizona the Latino community mainly being Mexican American; one in three Texan voters is now Latino. Biden did win the Latino vote in those states. But in Texas, 41 percent to 47 percent of Hispanic voters backed Trump in several heavily Latino border counties in the Rio Grande Valley region, a Democratic stronghold. In Florida, Trump won 45 percent of the Latino vote, an 11-point improvement from his 2016 performance reported NBC News. Recognizing Latinos as a population that can not only make a differences in swing states like Arizona and Texas or Florida, but also really across the country, even in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, the number of Latino eligible voters may be the reason for the thin margins. In 1984, 37 percent of Latinos voted for Ronald Reagan and 40 percent voted for George W. Bush in 2004.
In Florida, even though Trump won Florida and gained Latino voters, Biden kept 53% of the Latino vote and Trump 45%. According to NBC News exit polls, 55% of Cuban Americans, 30% of Puerto Ricans and 48% of other Latinos voted for Trump.
Subsections of Latino voters have a range of historical influences vying to affect their votes. Cuban American voters, mostly concentrated in south Florida, tend to vote Republican in part because of their anathema for socialism, the party of Fidel Castro’s government that many of their families fled. Mexican Americans, however, have no such historical relationship with either party. Puerto Rican voters who have left the island might be influenced by influenced the territory's move towards statehood, as a referendum for Trump's relief effort after Hurricane Maria, or regarding how it is taxed.
Hispanic and Latino Americans have made distinguished contributions to the United States in all major fields, such as politics, the military, music, film, literature, sports, business and finance, and science.
In 1995, the American Latino Media Arts Award, or ALMA Award was created. It is a distinction given to Latino performers (actors, film and television directors and musicians) by the National Council of La Raza. The number of Latin nominees at the Grammy Awards lag behind. Talking to PEOPLE ahead of music's biggest night in 2021, Grammy nominees J Balvin and Ricky Martin reflected on what it is mean to continue to represent Latinos at awards shows like the Grammys. Martin, who served as a pioneer for the "Latin crossover" in the '90s told "When you get nominated, it's the industry telling you, 'Hey Rick, you did a good job this year, congratulations.' Yes, I need that," the 49-year-old says. "When you walk into the studio, you say, 'This got a Grammy potential.' You hear the songs that do and the ones that don't. It's inevitable." Like Selena Gomez tapping into her roots, the influence Latinos and reggaetón are having on the mainstream is undeniable.
Main article: Latin music in the United States
There are many Hispanic American musicians that have achieved international fame, such as Christopher Rios better known by his stage name Big Pun, Jennifer Lopez, Joan Baez, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Fergie, Pitbull, Victoria Justice, Linda Ronstadt, Zack de la Rocha, Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Kat DeLuna, Selena, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Carlos Santana, Christina Aguilera, Bruno Mars, Mariah Carey, Jerry García, Dave Navarro, Santaye, Elvis Crespo, Romeo Santos, Tom Araya, Becky G, Juan Luis Guerra, Cardi B, Giselle Bellas, Bad Bunny, all of the members of all-female band Go Betty Go, Camila Cabello, and two members of girl group Fifth Harmony: Lauren Jauregui and Ally Brooke.
Latin American music imported from Cuba (chachachá, mambo, and rhumba) and Mexico (ranchera and mariachi) had brief periods of popularity during the 1950s. Examples of artists include Celia Cruz, who was a Cuban-American singer and the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, gaining twenty-three gold albums during her career. Bill Clinton awarded her the National Medal of Arts in 1994.
Among the Hispanic American musicians who were pioneers in the early stages of rock and roll were Ritchie Valens, who scored several hits, most notably "La Bamba" and Herman Santiago, who wrote the lyrics to the iconic rock and roll song "Why Do Fools Fall in Love". Songs that became popular in the United States and are heard during the holiday/Christmas season include "¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?", a novelty Christmas song with 12-year-old Augie Ríos which was a hit record in 1959 and featured the Mark Jeffrey Orchestra; and "Feliz Navidad" by José Feliciano. Miguel del Aguila wrote 116 works and has three Latin Grammy nominations.
In 1986, Billboard magazine introduced the Hot Latin Songs chart which ranks the best-performing songs on Spanish-language radio stations in the United States. Seven years later, Billboard initiated the Top Latin Albums which ranks top-selling Latin albums in the United States. Similarly, the Recording Industry Association of America incorporated "Los Premios de Oro y Platino" (The Gold and Platinum Awards) to certify Latin recordings which contains at least 50% of its content recorded in Spanish.
In 1989, Univision established the Lo Nuestro Awards which became the first award ceremony to recognize the most talented performers of Spanish-language music and was considered to be the "Hispanic Grammys". In 2000, the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (LARAS) established the Latin Grammy Awards to recognize musicians who perform in Spanish and Portuguese. Unlike The Recording Academy, LARAS extends its membership internationally to Hispanophone and Lusophone communities worldwide beyond the Americas, particularly the Iberian Peninsula. Becky G won favorite female Latin artist, a brand new category at the AMAs in 2020. For the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, the academy announced several changes for different categories and rules: the category Latin Pop Album has been renamed Best Latin Pop or Urban Album, while Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album has been renamed Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.
Main article: List of Latinos in film
American cinema has often reflected and propagated negative stereotypes towards foreign nationals and ethnic minorities. For example, Latin Americans are largely depicted as sexualized figures such as the Latino macho or the Latina vixen, gang members, (illegal) immigrants, or entertainers. However representation in Hollywood has enhanced in latter times of which it gained noticeable momentum in the 1990s and does not emphasize oppression, exploitation, or resistance as central themes. According to Ramírez Berg, third wave films "do not accentuate Chicano oppression or resistance; ethnicity in these films exists as one fact of several that shape characters' lives and stamps their personalities". Filmmakers like Edward James Olmos and Robert Rodriguez were able to represent the Hispanic and Latino American experience like none had on screen before, and actors like Hilary Swank, Michael Peña, Jordana Brewster, Ana de Armas, Jessica Alba, and Paz Vega have became successful. In the last decade, minority filmmakers like Chris Weitz, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and Patricia Riggen have been given applier narratives. Portrayal in films of them include La Bamba (1987), Selena (1997), The Mask of Zorro (1998), Goal II (2007), The 33 (2015), Ferdinand (2017), Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) and Josefina López's Real Women Have Curves, originally a play which premiered in 1990 and was later released as a film in 2002.
Hispanics and Latinos have also contributed some prominent actors and others to the film industry. Of Puerto Rican origin: José Ferrer (the first Hispanic actor to win an acting Academy Award for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac), Auliʻi Cravalho, Rita Moreno, Chita Rivera, Raul Julia, Rosie Perez, Rosario Dawson, Esai Morales, Aubrey Plaza, Jennifer Lopez, Joaquin Phoenix and Benicio del Toro. Of Mexican origin: Emile Kuri (the first Hispanic to win an Academy Award – for Best Production Design – in 1949), Ramon Novarro, Dolores del Río, Lupe Vélez, Anthony Quinn, Ricardo Montalbán, Katy Jurado, Adrian Grenier, Jay Hernandez, Salma Hayek, Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Tessa Thompson, and Kate del Castillo. Of Cuban origin: Cesar Romero, Mel Ferrer, Andy García, Cameron Diaz, María Conchita Alonso, William Levy, and Eva Mendes. Of Dominican origin: Maria Montez and Zoe Saldana. Of Brazilian origin: Carmen Miranda, Sonia Braga, Rodrigo Santoro, Camila Mendes, Camilla Belle and Jordana Brewster. Of Spanish origin: Rita Hayworth, Martin Sheen, Paz Vega and Antonio Banderas. Other outstanding figures are: Anita Page (of Salvadoran origin), Fernando Lamas, Carlos Thompson, Alejandro Rey and Linda Cristal (of Argentine origin), Raquel Welch (of Bolivian origin), John Leguizamo (of Colombian origin), Oscar Isaac (of Guatemalan origin), and Pedro Pascal (of Chilean origin).
In stand-up comedy, Cristela Alonzo, Anjelah Johnson, Paul Rodríguez, Greg Giraldo, Cheech Marin, George Lopez, Freddie Prinze, Jade Esteban Estrada, Carlos Mencia, John Mendoza, Gabriel Iglesias and others are prominent.
Some of the Hispanic or Latino actors who achieved notable success in U.S. television include Desi Arnaz, Lynda Carter, Jimmy Smits, Charo, Jencarlos Canela, Christian Serratos, Carlos Pena Jr., Eva Longoria, Sofía Vergara, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Jacob Vargas, Benjamin Bratt, Ricardo Montalbán, Hector Elizondo,Mario Lopez, America Ferrera, Karla Souza, Diego Boneta, Erik Estrada, Cote de Pablo, Freddie Prinze, Lauren Vélez, Isabella Gomez, Justina Machado, Tony Plana Stacey Dash, and Charlie Sheen. Kenny Ortega is an Emmy Award-winning producer, director and choreographer who has choreographed many major television events such as Super Bowl XXX, the 72nd Academy Awards and Michael Jackson's memorial service.
Hispanics and Latinos are underrepresented in U.S. television, radio, and film. This is combatted by organizations such as the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA), founded in 1975; and National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), founded in 1986. Together with numerous Latino civil rights organizations, the NHMC led a "brownout" of the national television networks in 1999, after discovering that there were no Latinos on any of their new prime time series that year. This resulted in the signing of historic diversity agreements with ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC that have since increased the hiring of Hispanic and Latino talent and other staff in all of the networks.
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) funds programs of educational and cultural significance to Hispanic Americans. These programs are distributed to various public television stations throughout the United States.
The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards critici's by Latinos, the Emmys had no major nominations for Latin performers despite the Emmys publicizing their improved diversity in 2020. While there was a record number of Black nominees, there was only one individual Latin nomination. Hispanic and Latino representation groups said the greater diversity referred only to more African American nominees. When the LA Times reported the criticism using the term "Black", it was itself criticized for erasing Afro-Latinos, a discussion that then prompted more investigation into this under-represented minority ethnic group in Hollywood. John Leguizamo boycotted the Emmys because of its lack of Latin nominees.
In the world of fashion, notable Hispanic and Latino designers include Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez, Manuel Cuevas, among others. Christy Turlington, Gisele Bündchen and Lea T achieved international fame as models.
Notable Hispanic and Latino artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Carmen Herrera, Gronk, Luis Jiménez, Félix González-Torres, Ana Mendieta, Joe Shannon, Richard Serra, Abelardo Morell, Bill Melendez, María Magdalena Campos Pons, Sandra Ramos, Myrna Báez and Soraida Martinez.
See also: Hispanic 500
The total number of Hispanic-owned businesses in 2002 was 1.6 million, having grown at triple the national rate for the preceding five years.
Hispanic and Latino business leaders include Cuban immigrant Roberto Goizueta, who rose to head of The Coca-Cola Company. Advertising Mexican-American magnate Arte Moreno became the first Hispanic to own a major league team in the United States when he purchased the Los Angeles Angels baseball club. Also a major sports team owner is Mexican-American Linda G. Alvarado, president and CEO of Alvarado Construction, Inc. and co-owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.
There are several Hispanics on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. Alejandro Santo Domingo and his brother Andres Santo Domingo inherited their fathers stake in SABMiller, now merged with Anheuser-Busch InBev. The brothers are ranked No. 132 and are each worth $4.8bn. Jorge Perez founded and runs The Related Group. He built his career developing and operating low-income multifamily apartments across Miami. He is ranked No. 264 and is worth $3bn.
The largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States is Goya Foods, because of World War II hero Joseph A. Unanue, the son of the company's founders. Angel Ramos was the founder of Telemundo, Puerto Rico's first television station and now the second largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, with an average viewership over one million in primetime. Samuel A. Ramirez Sr. made Wall Street history by becoming the first Hispanic to launch a successful investment banking firm, Ramirez & Co. Nina Tassler is president of CBS Entertainment since September 2004. She is the highest-profile Latina in network television and one of the few executives who has the power to approve the airing or renewal of series.
As of 2007, there were more than five thousand elected officeholders in the United States who were of Latino origin.
In the House of Representatives, Hispanic and Latino representatives have included Ladislas Lazaro, Antonio M. Fernández, Henry B. Gonzalez, Kika de la Garza, Herman Badillo, Romualdo Pacheco and Manuel Lujan Jr., out of almost two dozen former representatives. Current representatives include Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Jose E. Serrano, Luis Gutiérrez, Nydia Velázquez, Xavier Becerra, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Loretta Sanchez, Rubén Hinojosa, Mario Díaz-Balart, Raul Grijalva, Ben R. Lujan, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Raul Labrador and Alex Mooney—in all, they number thirty. Former senators are Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo, Mel Martinez, Dennis Chavez, Joseph Montoya and Ken Salazar. As of January 2011, the U.S. Senate includes Hispanic members Bob Menendez, a Democrat and Republicans Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, all Cuban Americans.
Numerous Hispanics and Latinos hold elective and appointed office in state and local government throughout the United States. Current Hispanic Governors include Republican Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Republican New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez; upon taking office in 2011, Martinez became the first Latina governor in the history of the United States. Former Hispanic governors include Democrats Jerry Apodaca, Raul Hector Castro, and Bill Richardson, as well as Republicans Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo, Romualdo Pacheco and Bob Martinez.
Since 1988, when Ronald Reagan appointed Lauro Cavazos the Secretary of Education, the first Hispanic United States Cabinet member, Hispanic Americans have had an increasing presence in presidential administrations. Hispanics serving in subsequent cabinets include Ken Salazar, current Secretary of the Interior; Hilda Solis, current United States Secretary of Labor; Alberto Gonzales, former United States Attorney General; Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce; Federico Peña, former Secretary of Energy; Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Manuel Lujan Jr., former Secretary of the Interior; and Bill Richardson, former Secretary of Energy and Ambassador to the United Nations. Rosa Rios is the current US Treasurer, including the latest three, were Hispanic women.
In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Supreme Court Associate Justice of Hispanic or Latino origin.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, and the Congressional Hispanic Conference (CHC), founded on March 19, 2003, are two organizations that promote policy of importance to Americans of Hispanic descent. They are divided into the two major American political parties: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is composed entirely of Democratic representatives, whereas the Congressional Hispanic Conference is composed entirely of Republican representatives.
Groups like the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) work to achieve the promises and principles of the United States by "promoting education, research, and leadership development, and empowering Latinos and similarly disenfranchised groups by maximizing their civic awareness, engagement, and participation".
Further information: American literature in Spanish
Hispanics and Latinos have participated in the military of the United States and in every major military conflict from the American Revolution onward. 11% to 13% military personnel now are Latinos and they have been deployed in the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and U.S. military missions and bases elsewhere. Hispanics and Latinos have not only distinguished themselves in the battlefields but also reached the high echelons of the military, serving their country in sensitive leadership positions on domestic and foreign posts. Up to now, 43 Hispanics and Latinos have been awarded the nation's highest military distinction, the Medal of Honor (also known as the Congressional Medal of Honor). The following is a list of some notable Hispanics/Latinos in the military:
Main article: Hispanics in the American Civil War
See also: Hispanic Americans in World War II
Main article: List of Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients
The following 43 Hispanics were awarded the Medal of Honor: Philip Bazaar, Joseph H. De Castro, John Ortega, France Silva, David B. Barkley, Lucian Adams, Rudolph B. Davila, Marcario Garcia, Harold Gonsalves, David M. Gonzales, Silvestre S. Herrera, Jose M. Lopez, Joe P. Martinez, Manuel Perez Jr., Cleto L. Rodriguez, Alejandro R. Ruiz, Jose F. Valdez, Ysmael R. Villegas, Fernando Luis García, Edward Gomez, Ambrosio Guillen, Rodolfo P. Hernandez, Baldomero Lopez, Benito Martinez, Eugene Arnold Obregon, Joseph C. Rodriguez, John P. Baca, Roy P. Benavidez, Emilio A. De La Garza, Ralph E. Dias, Daniel Fernandez, Alfredo Cantu "Freddy" Gonzalez, Jose Francisco Jimenez, Miguel Keith, Carlos James Lozada, Alfred V. Rascon, Louis R. Rocco, Euripides Rubio, Hector Santiago-Colon, Elmelindo Rodrigues Smith, Jay R. Vargas, Humbert Roque Versace and Maximo Yabes.
Among Hispanic Americans who have excelled in science are Luis Walter Álvarez, Nobel Prize–winning physicist, and his son Walter Alvarez, a geologist. They first proposed that an asteroid impact on the Yucatán Peninsula caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Mario J. Molina won the Nobel Prize in chemistry and currently works in the chemistry department at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Victor Manuel Blanco is an astronomer who in 1959 discovered "Blanco 1", a galactic cluster. F. J. Duarte is a laser physicist and author; he received the Engineering Excellence Award from the prestigious Optical Society of America for the invention of the N-slit laser interferometer. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa is the director of the Pituitary Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the director of the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Physicist Albert Baez made important contributions to the early development of X-ray microscopes and later X-ray telescopes. His nephew John Carlos Baez is also a noted mathematical physicist. Francisco J. Ayala is a biologist and philosopher, former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been awarded the National Medal of Science and the Templeton Prize. Peruvian-American biophysicist Carlos Bustamante has been named a Searle Scholar and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. Luis von Ahn is one of the pioneers of crowdsourcing and the founder of the companies reCAPTCHA and Duolingo. Colombian-American Ana Maria Rey received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work in atomic physics in 2013.
Dr. Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas discovered the bacteria that cause dental cavity. Dr. Gualberto Ruaño is a biotechnology pioneer in the field of personalized medicine and the inventor of molecular diagnostic systems, Coupled Amplification and Sequencing (CAS) System, used worldwide for the management of viral diseases. Fermín Tangüis was an agriculturist and scientist who developed the Tangüis Cotton in Peru and saved that nation's cotton industry. Severo Ochoa, born in Spain, was a co-winner of the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Sarah Stewart, a Mexican-American Microbiologist, is credited with the discovery of the Polyomavirus and successfully demonstrating that cancer causing viruses could be transmitted from animal to animal. Mexican-American psychiatrist Dr. Nora Volkow, whose brain imaging studies helped characterize the mechanisms of drug addiction, is the current director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías, an early advocate for women's reproductive rights, helped drive and draft U.S. federal sterilization guidelines in 1979. She was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton, and was the first Latina president of the American Public Health Association.
Some Hispanics and Latinos have made their names in astronautics, including several NASA astronauts: Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Latin American NASA astronaut, is co-recordholder for the most flights in outer space, and is the leading researcher on the plasma engine for rockets; France A. Córdova, former NASA chief scientist; Juan R. Cruz, NASA aerospace engineer; Lieutenant Carlos I. Noriega, NASA mission specialist and computer scientist; Dr. Orlando Figueroa, mechanical engineer and director of Mars exploration in NASA; Amri Hernández-Pellerano, engineer who designs, builds and tests the electronics that will regulate the solar array power in order to charge the spacecraft battery and distribute power to the different loads or users inside various spacecraft at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Olga D. González-Sanabria won an R&D 100 Award for her role in the development of the "Long Cycle-Life Nickel-Hydrogen Batteries" which help enable the International Space Station power system. Mercedes Reaves, research engineer and scientist who is responsible for the design of a viable full-scale solar sail and the development and testing of a scale model solar sail at NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Pedro Rodríguez, inventor and mechanical engineer who is the director of a test laboratory at NASA and of a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis. Dr. Felix Soto Toro, electrical engineer and astronaut applicant who developed the Advanced Payload Transfer Measurement System (ASPTMS) (Electronic 3D measuring system); Ellen Ochoa, a pioneer of spacecraft technology and astronaut; Joseph Acaba, Fernando Caldeiro, Sidney Gutierrez, José M. Hernández, Michael López-Alegría, John Olivas and George Zamka, who are current or former astronauts.
See also: Latino athletes in American sports
There have been far fewer football and basketball players, let alone star players, but Tom Flores was the first Hispanic head coach and the first Hispanic quarterback in American professional football, and won Super Bowls as a player, as assistant coach and as head coach for the Oakland Raiders. Anthony Múñoz is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, ranked No. 17 on Sporting News's 1999 list of the 100 greatest football players, and was the highest-ranked offensive lineman. Jim Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and Joe Kapp is inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. Steve Van Buren, Martin Gramatica, Victor Cruz, Tony Gonzalez, Ted Hendricks, Marc Bulger, Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez can also be cited among successful Hispanics and Latinos in the National Football League (NFL).
Latinos have played in the Major Leagues since the very beginning of organized baseball, with Cuban player Esteban Bellán being the first (1873). The large number of Hispanic and Latino American stars in Major League Baseball (MLB) includes players like Ted Williams (considered by many to be the greatest hitter of all time), Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Alex Rios, Miguel Cabrera, Lefty Gómez, Adolfo Luque, Iván Rodríguez, Carlos González, Roberto Clemente, Adrián González, Jose Fernandez, David Ortiz, Juan Marichal, Fernando Valenzuela, Nomar Garciaparra, Albert Pujols, Omar Vizquel, managers Miguel Angel Gonzalez (the first Latino Major League manager), Al López, Ozzie Guillén and Felipe Alou, and General Manager Omar Minaya. Latinos in the MLB Hall of Fame include Roberto Alomar, Luis Aparicio, Rod Carew, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Pedro Martínez, Tony Pérez, Iván Rodríguez, Ted Williams, Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez and Roberto Clemente. Afro-Latino players Martin Dihigo, Jose Mendez and Cristóbal Torriente are Latino Hall of Famers who played in the Negro leagues.
Trevor Ariza, Mark Aguirre, Carmelo Anthony, Manu Ginóbili, Carlos Arroyo, Gilbert Arenas, Rolando Blackman, Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon, José Juan Barea and Charlie Villanueva can be cited in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Dick Versace made history when he became the first person of Hispanic heritage to coach an NBA team. Rebecca Lobo was a major star and champion of collegiate (National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)) and Olympic basketball and played professionally in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Diana Taurasi became just the seventh player ever to win an NCAA title, a WNBA title and as well an Olympic gold medal. Orlando Antigua became in 1995 the first Hispanic and the first non-black in 52 years to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Tennis players includes legend Pancho Gonzales and Olympic tennis champions and professional players Mary Joe Fernández and Gigi Fernández and 2016 Puerto Rican Gold Medalist Monica Puig.
Hispanics are present in all major American sports and leagues, but have particularly influenced the growth in popularity of soccer in the United States. Soccer is the most popular sport across Latin America and Spain and Hispanics brought the heritage of soccer playing to the United States. Major League Soccer teams such as Chivas USA, LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo, for example, have a fanbase composed primarily of Mexican Americans. Association football players in the Major League Soccer (MLS) includes several like Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna, Omar Gonzalez, Marcelo Balboa and Carlos Bocanegra.
Swimmers Ryan Lochte (the second-most decorated swimmer in Olympic history measured by total number of medals) and Dara Torres (one of three women with the most Olympic women's swimming medals), both of Cuban ancestry, have won multiple medals at various Olympic Games over the years. Torres is also the first American swimmer to appear in five Olympic Games. Maya DiRado, of Argentine ancestry, won four medals at the 2016 games, including two gold medals.
Boxing's first Hispanic American world champion was Solly Smith. Some other champions include Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Bobby Chacon, Brandon Ríos, Michael Carbajal, John Ruiz, Andy Ruiz Jr. and Mikey Garcia.
Ricco Rodriguez, Tito Ortiz, Diego Sanchez, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Dominick Cruz, Frank Shamrock, Gilbert Melendez, Roger Huerta, Carlos Condit, Kelvin Gastelum, Henry Cejudo and UFC Heavy Weight Champion Cain Velasquez have been competitors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) of mixed martial arts.
In 1991, Bill Guerin whose mother is Nicaraguan became the first Hispanic player in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was also selected to four NHL All-Star Games. In 1999, Scott Gomez won the NHL Rookie of the Year Award.
Figure skater Rudy Galindo; golfers Chi Chi Rodríguez, Nancy López and Lee Trevino; softball player Lisa Fernández; and Paul Rodríguez Jr., X Games professional skateboarder, are all Hispanic or Latino Americans who have distinguished themselves in their sports.
In gymnastics, Laurie Hernandez, who is of Puerto Rican ancestry, was a gold medalist at the 2016 Games.
In sports entertainment we find the professional wrestlers Hulk Hogan, Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Tyler Black and Melina Pérez and executive Vickie Guerrero.
In countries where the majority of the population is of immigrant descent, such as the United States, opposition to immigration sometimes takes the form of nativism. Throughout U.S. history, Hispanophobia has existed to varying degrees, and it was largely based on ethnicity, race, culture, Anti-Catholicism, economic and social conditions in Latin America, and use of the Spanish language. 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. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics, the number of anti-Latino hate crimes increased by 35 percent since 2003 (albeit from a low level). In California, the state with the largest Latino population, the number of hate crimes against Latinos almost doubled.
In 2009, the FBI reported that 483 of the 6,604 hate crimes which were recorded in the United States were anti-Hispanic, comprising 7.3% of all recorded hate crimes, the lowest percentage of all of the hate crimes which were recorded in 2009. This percentage is contrasted by the fact that 34.6% of all of the hate crimes which were recorded in 2009 were anti-Black, 17.9% of them were anti-homosexual, 14.1% of them were anti-Jewish, and 8.3% of them were anti-White.
Places of settlement in United States:
Other Hispanic and Latino Americans topics:
'Hispanic Americans,' which includes Spanish, other European or Middle Eastern-descended persons of Mexican-, Puerto Rican-, Jamaican-, Cuban, Dominican-, Central or South American
SBA has defined 'Hispanic American' as an individual whose ancestry and culture are rooted in South America, Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico
"Hispanic or Latino" refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
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/Latino.
Note: It defines "Hispanic" as meaning those with Spanish-speaking roots in the Americas and Spain, and "Latino" as meaning those from both Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking cultures in Latin America.
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...
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.
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 León, the European discoverer of Florida, landed in 1513 in search of the legendary Fountain of Youth, it has been continually inhabited since its founding.