Refers to people of Latin American origin. An emerging inclusive term for people from North America, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. The term refers to a shared cultural heritage (Black, Native American, Spanish), a history of colonization by Spain, and a common language, Spanish. Latino has regional and academic support and seems to be preferred on the East and West Coasts. Hispanic is considered an alternate term by many. Those who prefer to be known as Latino say that the word was coined to express the common historical and political factors listed above, and that Hispanic merely reflects usage of a European-based language. Latina is the feminine form of this word. See Chicano/Chicana, Hispanic, Mexican American, Tejano/Tejana.
The registered voter statistics in this category are the result of a comparison of surnames of registered voters in California with the Spanish surname dictionary published by the United States Census Bureau. Military.
Person of Latin-American descent, regardless of ability to speak Spanish or Portuguese. Use Latino(s) for women and men in a group and Latina(s) for women only. The U.S. Census Bureau limits the term to people of descent from Spanish-speaking countries only. The term is always capitalized.