When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity
Only about one-quarter (24%) of Hispanic adults say they most often identify themselves by "Hispanic" or "Latino," according to a new nationwide survey of Hispanic adults by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. About half (51%) say they identify themselves most often by their family's country or place of origin-using such terms as Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran or Dominican. And 21% say they use the term "American" most often to describe themselves. The share rises to 40% among those who were born in the U.S.
By a ratio of more than two-to-one, survey respondents say that the more than 50 million Latinos in the U.S. have many different cultures rather than a common culture. Respondents do, however, express a strong, shared connection to the Spanish language. More than eight-in-ten Latino adults say they speak Spanish, and nearly all say it is important for future generations to continue to do so.
Hispanics are also divided over how much of a common identity they share with other Americans. Just under half say they consider themselves to be very different from the typical American. And just one-in-five say they use the term "American" most often to describe their identity.