What is the Difference between "Hispanic," "Mexican," "Latino," and "Chicano"?
- Hispanic = a citizen of Latin America/Spain or a U.S. citizen of Latin American/Spanish descent
- Mexican = a Mexican citizen
- Latino = a citizen of Latin America or a U.S. citizen of Latin American descent
- Chicano = a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent
These terms sometimes overlap, so read on for more on the differences and similarities between them!
The terms Hispanic and Latino are considered interchangeable by some people, so don't be surprised if you see them used as synonyms.
The term Hispanic (hispano or hispánico ) can be used to refer to someone from Spain, Portugal, Brazil, or the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, as well as to people of Hispanic descent (people with parents, grandparents, etc. who are Hispanic).
- In the U.S., the term Hispanic is most commonly used to refer to someone from Latin America (Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Central and South America).
The term Latino (latino ) is used to refer to someone from Latin America (Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Central and South America), as well as to people of Latino descent (people with parents, grandparents, etc. who are Latino).
The term Chicano is normally used to refer to someone born in the United States to Mexican parents or grandparents and is considered a synonym of Mexican-American.
- A person who was born in Mexico and came to the United States as an adult would refer to him/herself as Mexican, not Chicano.