Prefer “Hispanic” vs. “Latino”? No One Much Cares…

Posted: Apr 21 2014

It’s a question that’s been going round and round for decades. Should one use “Hispanic” or “Latino”? Well a new poll has the answer for you…most Hispanic/Latinos don’t really care. There was only a slight preference for usage for the term “Hispanic”.And same for “African-American” or “black” – a poll of African-Americans show, well they don’t really care either what term is used…

The origin of the term “Hispanic” was a government creation in the 70s, and then the term "Latino" came about in the 80s when the L.A. Times started using the term “Latino” in its newspaper.

Gallup published results of its new poll this month that shows the large majority of U.S. blacks and Hispanics have no substantial preference when it comes to the labels that are typically used to describe their populations. A minor preference for the term “Hispanic” was found in the poll, whereas the poll turned up equal for “black” vs “African-American”.

Here’s the results:
“Hispanic” or “Latino” Usage 
(poll performed among Hispanics/Latinos)

Latino

Hispanic

Does Not Matter

10%

19%

70%


“Black” vs. “African-American 
(poll performed among Blacks/African-Americans)

African-American

Black

Does Not Matter

17%

17%

65%

The two polls above were performed from June-July of 2013.

The term “Hispanic” tends to be slightly preferred among all age groups of those polled, with there being a significant preference for the term among those who are over 65 years old. Here’s the breakdown between men and women polled in the Hispanic/Latino survey. Women tend to prefer the use of “Hispanic” over men by a slightly larger margin.

Hispanic vs. Latino Usage Preference Among Men and Women

 

Latino

Hispanic

Does Not Matter

Men

10%

15%

74%

Women

10%

22%

67%

There is also an interesting breakdown of those Hispanics/Latinos born in the U.S. vs. having immigrated to the U.S.

Hispanic vs. Latino Usage Among Hispanics/Latinos born in U.S. and immigrants to U.S.

 

Latino

Hispanic

Does Not Matter

Immigrant

13%

17%

70%

Born in U.S.

7%

21%

72%

This poll marks not much of a change from the last time this poll was undertaken. In 2001, the poll produced about the same results. 

I’d say this about matches up with my circle of friends that are Hispanic/Latino. If someone asks me what my cultural background is – I always identify with Hispanic and state when asked – that I am “Hispanic”. But if you call me Latino/Latina – that’s perfectly fine too.

-Hispanic.com staff
Gallup Poll on Hispanic vs. Latino 2013

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