Who Is Latino?


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While one feature clearly defines the 53 million Latinos in the United States — being of Latin American or Spanish heritage — finding other unifying characteristics is more challenging, according to a recent Huffingtonpost.com article.
When the Pew Hispanic Center asked U.S. Latinos how they describe themselves,most chose terms other than “Latino” or “Hispanic.” More likely, they would describe their country of origin.
Geography accounts for some of the differences, since various regions of the United States boast a major Latino group, each with their own characteristics politically, culturally and economically.
According to the article, the greatest number of Latinos live in the Southwest, where Latinos who originated from Mexico have long lived. Cuban-Americans dominate South Florida politics. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans predominate the Latino community of New York City.
Another key factor is language preference. According to a 2011 Pew study, 24 percent of Latinos are English-dominant, while 38 percent are Spanish-dominant and another 38 percent describe themselves as fluently bilingual.
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