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Hispanic or Latino? Most Spanish Speakers Say Neither

A recent study found American Hispanics prefer to identify with their country of ancestry.
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A recent study found American Hispanics prefer to identify with their country of ancestry.

"Hispanic," or "Latino?"  Turns out, most Americans of Spanish-speaking origin don't find either term specific enough.

A survey releasedby the Pew Hispanic Center this morning shows more than half of those surveyed want be known by their family's country of origin: 51 percent surveyed said they preferred to be called "Mexican" or "Argentinian," for example.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, just 24 percent  say they use the terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" most often to describe their identity. And 21 percent  say they use the term “American” most often.

A majority of those surveyed said they want to be known by their family's ethnic roots because they don't think more generic terms are as representative of their culture.

Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, senior field correspondent with Fronterasspoke with Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Hispanic Center:

The Hispanics see the Latino community in the United States as a diverse community when you ask Hispanics is there a shared culture among U.S. Hispanics, nearly 70-percent of Hispanics say U.S. Hispanics have many different cultures," said Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Hispanic Center.

While most of those surveyed did not have a preference between "Hispanic" or "Latino" those who did have a preference chose "Hispanic" by more than a two-to-one margin — 33 percent versus 14 percent.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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