Is Latino & Hispanic the same?

I just filled out something that asked for my race. I saw where the form had a box for Latino or Hispanic. I always assumed they were 1 in the same. Can someone explain the difference to me?


DRL.....It was a job application. I have it right in front of me. Now tha i'm looking at it more closely, all the other races have a "or" except White and Asian.


Black or African American

Hispanic or Latino

American Indian or Alaskan Native

Native Hawiian or Pacific Islander

Two or More Races

Also all the races have this phrase (not Hispanic or Latino) beside them, except of course Hispanic of Latino.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This was an answer I wanted to seek out to see if it was different than my own connatative version of it.

    My version felt Latino referred to Latin America (South America) and Hispanic referred to any lineage link to Spain. Mexicans, I felt belonged to neither but was their own entity to som degree but bordering more towards the Spain due to the Spaniards landing in North America and exploring its continent. Native Mexicans are a mixture of Spaniards and Native American Indian tribe and their histroy hints towards links of both Incan and Mayan culture. I read many things on this because my hsuband happens to be a "hybrid" of both Native American, Cherokee and Mexican immigrants. He had grown primarily American and his family "assimilated" into the American culture and did very little celebration of any ancestral cultural rituals. So it prompted me to look up the lineage of Mexicans.

    This is one article of explanation "The word "Latin" comes to us from a tribe in early Italy called the Latins. The Latins lived in Latium whose capital city was Rome. ...When the Romans invaded the Iberian peninsula they found a city already there called Hispalis (Seville). The name Hispalis appears to be derived from Greek since Hispalus is a mythical Greek hero. Later on the Romans annexed the Iberian peninsula making it a province named Hispania. ...The term Hispano (Hispanic) later was used in referring to Spain and its subsequent New World - New Spain, conquered territories which covers most of Latino America. Hispanic thus refers to people whose culture and heritage have ties to Spain and, in the case of second and third generation Hispanic-Americans, who may or may not speak Spanish.

    In the U.S. the term Hispanic (Hispano) gained acceptance after it was picked up by the government and used in forms and census to identify people with Spanish heritage. Hispanic is not a race but an ethnic distinction, Hispanics come from all races and physical traits. The term Hispanic is merely a translation of the Old World word Hispania (Latin) or Hispano (Spanish).

    Latin America is a geographic location. People from Latin America are all Latin but not all are Hispanics. Brazilians speak Portuguese, which makes them Latin but not Hispanic. Dr. Lorenzo LaFarelle explained that in the 20's and 50's the term "Latin American" became very popular. Back then people of Mexican descent born in the United States preferred to be called Latin Americans since they were not actually born in Mexico, they felt the term Mexican did not exactly fit them. Besides that often the term Mexican was used with a derogatory note. In 1928 in the Corpus Christi - Laredo area a group of Hispanics spearheaded LULAC (League of Latin American Citizens) to help combat discrimination and prejudice and to help Hispanics acculturate.

    Prior to Texas joining the Union, old Hispanic native families in Texas called themselves "Tejanos". After 1820 the Anglo population called themselves Texans and the term Mexicans was used for all Hispanics whether newly arrived or not.

    The term "Chicano", is a more exclusive term used solely in reference to people of Mexican descent. Chicano was probably first used by the Conquistadores... The original Mexican Indians were called Mexicas. That term was changed to Mexicanos by the Spaniards and probably the "me" was dropped and thus the term Xicanos or Chicanos was born.

    ...Boricua is a term used exclusively for Puerto Ricans. The Taíno Indians called their paradise Borikén, the term Boricua derives from that. "

    Here's an interesting article on Census labeling and its evolution In addition it talks about the controversy of caste classification. Some Hispanics view themselves as a higher class than Latinos.

    an article from the Louisana Weekly "Basically, Hispanic is in no way a race of people. It is a conglomerate of cultures who share a bond via speaking Spanish or Portuguese. It is a combination of Caucasian, Black and Native American plus a little Asian in places like Brazil (where there are 4 million Japanese Brazilians), Peru and other Latin-American places. Also included are direct descendents of Spain and Portugal. ...South of the U.S. border there are well over 100 million Blacks who can claim they are Hispanic. "Many of the non-Blacks and non-Caucasians from Latin America are of Native American descent. ...Hispanics from the Caribbean are basically void of Native American blood as they were decimated from the early European settlers. Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans who have European blood are basically descendents of French settlers from Haiti who fled to their lands after the great slave revolt of Haiti ran the French army out.

    Source(s): Cultural liasion for the Irish American Club of St Petersburg FL where I work with other groups of countries, ethnic, and cultural history teaching a combination of diversity tolerance and respect of origins
  • 4 years ago

    Latino is often used interchangebly with the word "Hispanic", although they are not the same. The term "Hispanic" refers to a person from any Spanish-speaking country, whereas "Latino" refers to a person from a country in Latin America. A Latino can be of any race. For example, an Argentine is Caucasian, and a Dominican is Black. But they are both Latino.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hispanic comes from the term "Hispania", meaning "new Spain". This term was used to describe the new Spanish colonies in the Americas. Therefore, a Hispanic is a person whose origin is from one of those colonies (or what are now countries). Latino is a Spanish term to describe a person from a country of Latin language and culture. which includes Spanish founded countries and colonies. In the United States, we generally refer to Latinos as people from Latin America, which is mostly made up of Spanish founded countries. So, basically, the ethnic terms, Hispanic and Latino, for the most part, mean the same thing with few exceptions, such as the case of Brazil (which is a Latin county, but not part of what was once called "Hispania").

  • DRL
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    That's odd! Are you sure?

    What was it that you were filling out?

    Federal government type forms (e.g. Mortgage Application form 1003) "ask" for applicant's ethnicity (which is voluntary).

    Since 2004, Ethnicity (for federal government monitoring purposes) is defined as:

    1. Hispanic/Latino

    2. Not Hispanic/Latino

    So, basically, Hispanic and Latino are considered the same by the U.S. Federal government.

    Source(s): Mortgage Compliance Officer - Federal & State Regulatory Compliance
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  • 1 decade ago

    Hispanic and Latino are considered the same by the U.S. Federal government

  • 1 decade ago

    Hispanic refers to Spanish.

    And Latino refers to the countries that have a language that comes from Latin (Italy, Spain, France, Portugal...).

    The american countries that have been colonies of these European countries are seen as Latin (Latino-Americanos) also.

    Brasil for example is Latino because they speak portuguese (descendants of portuguese), but Brasil is not hispanic.

  • 1 decade ago

    I consider hispanics being from Spain and latinos being from Mexico.But it dont bother me but some people sure get offended.

  • 1 decade ago

    Did you know france is conscidered a latin nation, and language?

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