Perhaps no other group in the United States is as diverse in culture, nationality, phenotype, tradition, political sophistication, ethos, migration trends, acculturation rate, and even language as Hispanics. Entry from Culture Wars in America: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices.
What’s the difference between Hispanic and Latino? The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are pan-ethnic terms meant to describe – and summarize – the population of people living in the U.S. of that ethnic background. In practice, the Census Bureau most often uses the term “Hispanic,” while Pew Research Center uses the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” interchangeably. Some have drawn sharp distinctions between these two terms, saying for example that Hispanics are people from Spain or from Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America (this excludes Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language), while Latinos are people from Latin America regardless of language (this includes Brazil but excludes Spain). Despite this debate, the “Hispanic” and “Latino” labels are not universally embraced by the community that has been labeled, even as they are widely used.