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Difference Between Hispanic and Latino

Main Difference

Although the US Government sometimes groups people of Hispanic and Latino origins together but it doesn’t mean that both can be taken as interchangeable as there exists a lot of differences between Hispanic and Latino. The main difference between Hispanic and Latino is that Hispanic are an ethnolinguistic group of Americans whose genealogical origins are in Spain while the genealogical origins of Latino people are from the countries of Latin American.

What is Hispanic?

Hispanic refers to the people in America that speak the Spanish language and according to some literature, to ancient Roman Hispanic, that consists of the Iberian Peninsula including the contemporary states of Portugal, Andorra, Spain and the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. So, the term Hispanic refers to the peoples, culture, or nations who have a historical link to Spain. Some people use the term Hispanic and Latino for the people of countries who were colonized by Spain like Latin America. However, some argued that this term is restricted to the all-Spanish-speaking cultures who are specifically from the Iberian region. Hispanics from ethnicity share a common language (Spanish) and culture heritage instead of a race.

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What is Latino?

Latino refers to the people in America with cultural links to Latin America and the nationalities that have historic links with Latin America. It is a cultural heritage. Latino stands for males only or a combination of both males and females in a group while term Latina is used to denoting females only. The world Latino comes from American Spanish word “lationoamericano”, stands for Latin America. Currently, the Latinos are the second largest ethnic group in the US. Latino is considered as the mixture of Portuguese and French-speaking roots such as Brazil and also those of Spanish-language origin.

Key Differences

  1. Hispanic Americans are considered as the second fastest-growing ethnic group in the US after Asian American while Latino is currently the second–largest ethnic group in the US.
  2. Hispanic are an ethnolinguistic group of Americans whose genealogical origins are in Spain while the genealogical origins of Latino people are from the countries of Latin American.
  3. Hispanic stands for language and the people from a country where they speak Spanish while Latino stands for geography, especially to Latin America.
  4. The word Hispanic comes from the Latin word “Hispania” while the term Latino comes from the Spanish word “lationoamericano”.
  5. Hispanic is broadly used along the Eastern seaboard while Latino is broadly used along the west of the Mississippi.
  6. Hispanic denotes the cultures or countries that were colonized by Spanish such as Mexico, Central America, and South America. Latino denotes the countries that were under a Roman government like Italy, France, and Spain.
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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson