We get asked this question more often than any other question regarding the U.S. Hispanic market and there has been quite a bit written on the subject.  We use the terms interchangeably. It is a matter of personal preference. We are more likely to use Hispanic when we talk about the group as a potential business market, while we tend to use Latino when referring to the people. Latino sounds much better in Spanish than “Hispano”. In fact, the word is a Spanish word, while Hispanic needs to be translated.

Some argue that the term “Latino” includes everyone from “Latin America” and would therefore include people from Brazil (who speak Portuguese). Other say that the term "Hispanic" is wrong because it literally means "from Spain" and Hispanic American heritage goes further than just Spain. Most Hispanics, however, do not really care and are not offended by one term or the other. 

In October 2013, Pew Research Center published the results of a study that explored preferences between the two terms.  As we expected, Most Latinos do not care.  Texas, however, was an exception.  In Texas 46% prefer the term Hispanic, while just 8% prefer the term "Latino".

 

Pew Research Center

 

Pew Research Center - Hispanic or Latino? Many don'y care, except in Texas

For further information see the post Hispanic or Latino? on the Latino Opinion blog.

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Note...

How come some of the people shown on the left don't look Hispanic?

Hispanic or Latino is not a race.   There are Latinos of many different races and physical characteristics.  For more information see our FAQ article, Why doesn't the census include Hispanic as a race?, and the Latino Blog post Let's Stop Segmenting People by Race! 

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