Persons of Hispanic-Latino Origin in USA


Hispanic and Latino

The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” tend to be used interchangeably. According to Collins English Dictionary, “Hispanic” relates to something that is derived from Spain or Spanish speaking countries, including a US citizen of Spanish/Latin American descent. Latino describes an US inhabitant of Latin American origin. The term “Hispanic” is a superset which refers to all Spanish speaking people irrespective of location; whereas “Latino” is a subset of “Hispanic”, referring to people of Latin American descent. According to Humes, Jones & Ramirez (2011), for the purpose of the US census, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) defines a Hispanic or Latino as “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race”.

Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world. Spanish is the official language of 20 countries, mainly in Central and South America.

US 2010 Census: Hispanic-Latino Population

As per the analysis of the 2010 US Census by Ennis, Ríos-Vargas & Albert (2011), the total United States population as on April 1, 2010, is 308.7 million. Hispanics or Latinos constitute almost 1/6th of the population at 50.5 million. In the last 10 years the US population has grown by 9.7%, whereas the Hispanic-Latino population has grown by 43%. Based on projections by Pew Research Center, Nasser (2008) predicts that by 2050 the Hispanic-Latino population will account for 29% of the US population, up from the current 16.3%.

Not surprisingly, majority of the US Hispanic-Latino population has come from Mexico. The breakup of key countries/regions from where Hispanics-Latinos have immigrated to the US is as follows:

  • Mexico: 63%
  • Puerto Rico: 9.2%
  • Cuba: 3.5%
  • El Salvador: 3.3%
  • Dominican Republic: 2.8%
  • Guatemala: 2.1%

Bulk of the Hispanic-Latino population lives in the South and the West. With 27.8%, California accounts for the largest share of the US Hispanic-Latino population, followed by Texas (18.7%), Florida (8.4%), New York (6.8%), Illinois (4.0%) and Arizona (3.8%). In places like Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Hispanics-Latinos account for 30% and more of the state’s population.

America had experienced a major inflow of immigrants in the 1890s and 1900s. The last two decades have seen a similar inflow. As per statistics of the Department of Homeland security (DHS), in the last 10 years, on an average 1 million persons per year immigrate to the USA. For the last 10 years, Mexicans have been the largest immigrant group into the USA.

Ciudad Juarez [CDJ] in Mexico is a major point of entry into the USA. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for processing immigrant applications. USCIS has a large consulate in Ciudad Juarez. Since Spanish is the official language of many South and Central American countries, most legal documents (such as Birth Certificates, Academic qualifications, Marriage Certificates, etc) are in Spanish. The USCIS expects all documents submitted to it should be either in English or should have a Spanish to English certified translation. Professional translations services can provide further information about USCIS’ certified translation requirements.


  • Hispanic. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from website:
  • latino. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from website:
  • Humes K R, Jones N A, Ramirez R R (2011, March). Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU. C2010BR-02.
  • Ennis S R, Ríos-Vargas M & Albert N G (2011, May). The Hispanic Population: 2010. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU. C2010BR-04
  • Nasser H E (2008, February 12). U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050. USA Today. Retrieved from

Source by Deep Bhasin