Difference Between Mexican and Hispanic

Main Difference

Spanish is the second most popular language in the United States after English. It is because of the Hispanic community residing in the United States, especially in Latin America. While referring to the Spanish speakers or people of Spanish descent, terms like Hispanic and Mexican are used interchangeably. Though, they can easily be differentiated as Mexican is the nationality, whereas Hispanic is an ethnic group. Mexicans are the native people or nationals of Mexico irrespective of their language or race, whereas Hispanics are the Spanish speaking people, especially one of Latin American descent, residing in US.

Comparison Chart

MexicanHispanic
GenreNationalityEthnonym
DefinitionMexicans are the native people or nationals of Mexico irrespective of their language or race.Hispanics are the Spanish speaking people, especially one of Latin American descent, residing in US.
LanguageSpanish is the most popular language in Mexico but it doesn’t mean that every Mexican speaks Spanish.Every Hispanic speaks Spanish.
CountryGenerally Mexicans are the people living in Mexico.Hispanics are the people living in the United States.

What is Mexican?

The person native, inhabitant or national of Mexico is called Mexican irrespective of his ethnic group or language. The large majority of the Mexico is fluent in Spanish as it is home to overwhelmingly largest ethnic group Mestizos (Mix of Spanish & Indian Ancestry), which roughly covers up more than 55% of the total population of the country. Spanish stepped up in Mexico after the Spanish invasion in 1521. Although one can easily differentiate it between Spanish spoken in Mexico and Spanish spoken in Spain. A Mexican can also be a Hispanic if he/she is native speaker of Spanish language and is of the of Latin American descent.

What is Hispanic?

A Spanish-speaking person, especially one of Latin American descent, living in the US is called Hispanic. A common mindset across the globe is that every of the Spanish-speaking person, residing anywhere in the globe is Hispanic, but it is actually not as apart from the Spanish native speaker one have to be of the Latin American descent and should have been living in the US. The mess up comes in when people believe that Hispanic is a nationality or race like Spanish, though it is an ethnic group of Latin America descent. The government of United States defines Hispanic as ‘ a person who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America, or any other Spanish cultures.’ The term “Hispanic” is derived from a Latin word for Spain “Hispania”refers to a person of Latin American or Iberian ancestry, fluent in Spanish.

Mexican vs. Hispanic

  • Mexican is the nationality, whereas Hispanic is an ethnic group.
  • Mexicans are the native people or nationals of Mexico irrespective of their language or race, whereas Hispanics are the Spanish speaking people, especially one of Latin American descent, residing in US.
  • Spanish is the most popular language in Mexico but it doesn’t mean that every Mexican speaks Spanish, on the other hand every Hispanic speaks Spanish.
  • Generally Mexicans are the people living in Mexico, while Hispanics are the people living in the United States.
  • The large majority of the Mexico is fluent in Spanish as it is home to overwhelmingly largest ethnic group Mestizos (Mix of Spanish & Indian Ancestry), which roughly covers up more than 55% of the total population of the country.
  • A Mexican can also be a Hispanic if he/she is native speaker of Spanish language and is of the of Latin American descent.
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

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