Difference Wiki

Mexican vs. Hispanic: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 23, 2023
Mexican refers specifically to someone from Mexico. Hispanic refers to people from Spanish-speaking countries or of Spanish-speaking descent.

Key Differences

Mexican pertains to the country of Mexico. It denotes something or someone directly related to this North American nation. Hispanic, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses individuals and cultures from any Spanish-speaking country.
Mexican is primarily a nationality. When someone is called Mexican, it indicates that they hail from Mexico or possess Mexican citizenship. In contrast, Hispanic doesn't indicate nationality but instead points to linguistic and cultural ties to Spain or Spanish-speaking countries.
Mexican emphasizes a specific cultural, geographic, and national identity. It's exclusive to the people, traditions, and customs of Mexico. Hispanic is more inclusive, spanning multiple countries and territories where Spanish is spoken, not just Spain.
It's also important to understand that while all Mexicans are Hispanic (since they speak Spanish), not all Hispanics are Mexican. Hispanics can come from any of the 20 Spanish-speaking countries.
Sometimes people misuse Mexican and Hispanic interchangeably, but it's crucial to remember their distinct meanings. Using them accurately respects individual and cultural identities.

Comparison Chart


Refers to someone from Mexico.
Pertains to Spanish-speaking countries or descendants.


Specific to one country.
Covers 20 countries.


Primarily Spanish.
Always Spanish.


Originates from Mexico.
Originates from Spain or Spanish-speaking countries.


Linguistic and cultural identity.

Mexican and Hispanic Definitions


Relating to Mexico or its people.
The Mexican cuisine is famous for its rich flavors.


Encompassing all Spanish-speaking peoples irrespective of country.
She has a deep love for Hispanic music.


The official language spoken in Mexico.
They communicated in Mexican Spanish during their trip.


Associated with Spanish language or culture.
The Hispanic heritage month celebrates diverse cultures.


Associated with Mexican culture or traditions.
The Mexican festival was full of dancing and music.


A person from a Spanish-speaking country or of Spanish-speaking descent.
Carlos is a Hispanic poet loved by many.


Products or goods originating from Mexico.
She wore a Mexican handwoven shawl to the party.


Of or relating to Spain or to Spanish-speaking countries.
The Hispanic influence is evident in the architecture.


A native or inhabitant of Mexico.


Denoting the Spanish-derived part of Latino heritage.
Hispanic traditions are celebrated widely in many countries.


Of or relating to Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin America.


What is the primary distinction between Mexican and Hispanic?

Mexican is about nationality, while Hispanic is about linguistic and cultural ties.

What does Mexican specifically refer to?

Mexican refers to someone from Mexico or related to Mexico.

Is Mexican culture a subset of Hispanic culture?

Yes, Mexican culture is one of the many cultures within the Hispanic umbrella.

Is Portuguese Hispanic?

No, Hispanic specifically relates to Spanish language and culture.

Can Mexican refer to a language?

Yes, it can refer to the Spanish dialect spoken in Mexico.

Is Mexican a language?

No, Mexicans speak Spanish. However, there is a specific dialect of Spanish in Mexico.

What is the origin of the term Hispanic?

It originates from the Latin word "Hispanicus", meaning "Spanish".

What does Hispanic culture encompass?

It encompasses the cultures of all Spanish-speaking countries.

Is every Latin American Mexican?

No, only those from Mexico are Mexican.

Why is the distinction between Mexican and Hispanic important?

To accurately recognize and respect individual and cultural identities.

Is every Hispanic person a Mexican?

No, while all Mexicans are Hispanic, not all Hispanics are Mexican.

Can someone from Spain be called Mexican?

No, they would be Hispanic, but not Mexican.

How many countries are represented by the term Hispanic?

Hispanic represents 20 Spanish-speaking countries.

Can a person be both Mexican and Hispanic?

Yes, a person from Mexico is both Mexican (by nationality) and Hispanic (by language and culture).

Do Mexican and Hispanic mean the same thing?

No, Mexican is specific to Mexico, while Hispanic relates to Spanish-speaking countries or descendants.

Is every Mexican person Hispanic?

Yes, because they come from a Spanish-speaking country.

Can a product made in Mexico be termed Hispanic?

Yes, but it's more accurate to call it Mexican.

Are Filipinos Hispanic?

While the Philippines has historical ties to Spain, Filipinos are not typically classified as Hispanic.

How does one distinguish between Mexican and other Hispanic cuisines?

By specific dishes, ingredients, and cooking methods unique to each culture.

Can a person from Argentina be termed Mexican?

No, they would be Hispanic but not Mexican.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons