Portal:Hispanic and Latino Americans

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2010 US Census Hispanic Population by County.svg

Hispanic and Latino Americans are an ethnolinguistic group of Americans with origins in the countries of Latin America or the Iberian peninsula. More generally it includes all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino. Reflecting especially the Latin American population, which has origins in all the continents and many ancestries, Hispanic/Latino Americans are very racially diverse, and as a result form an ethnic category, rather than a race.

While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, Hispanic is a narrower term and refers mostly to persons of Spanish speaking origin or ancestry, while Latino is more frequently used to refer more generally to anyone of Latin American origin or ancestry, including Brazilians. Hispanic thus includes persons from Spain and Spanish speaking Latin Americans excluding both Portuguese and Brazilians (who speak Portuguese) while Latino excludes persons from Spain but includes both Spanish speaking and Portuguese-speaking Latin Americans. Persons from Portugal, and all other Portuguese-speaking peoples around the World outside the Americas (e.g. Cape Verdeans or Angolans), are neither Hipanic nor Latino. Latino is a broader term encompassing more people. The choice between the terms Latino and Hispanic among those of Spanish speaking origin is also associated with location: persons of Spanish speaking origins residing in the eastern United States tend to prefer the term Hispanic, whereas those in the West tend to prefer Latino.


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"El Velorio" - 'The Wake' - by Puerto Rican impressionist artist Francisco Oller
A Puerto Rican (Spanish: puertorriqueño; Taíno: boricua) is a person who was born in Puerto Rico. People born and raised in other parts of the world, most notably in the continental United States, of Puerto Rican parents are also sometimes referred to as Puerto Ricans.

Puerto Ricans commonly refer to themselves as boricuas. "The majority of Puerto Ricans regard themselves as being of mixed Spanish-European descent. Recent DNA sample studies have concluded that the three largest components of the Puerto Rican genetic profile are in fact indigenous Taíno, European, and African". The population of Puerto Ricans and descendants is estimated to be between 8 to 10 million worldwide, with most living within the islands of Puerto Rico and in the United States. Within the United States, Puerto Ricans are present in all states of the Union, and the states with the largest populations of Puerto Ricans relative to the national population of Puerto Ricans in the United States at large are the states of New York, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with large populations also in Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Illinois, and Texas.

For 2009, the American Community Survey estimates give a total of 3,859,026 Puerto Ricans classified as "Native" Puerto Ricans. It also gives a total of 3,644,515 (91.9%) of the population being born in Puerto Rico and 201,310 (5.1%) born in the United States. The total population born outside Puerto Rico is 322,773 (8.1%). Of the 108,262 who were foreign born outside the United States (2.7% of Puerto Ricans), 92.9% were born in Latin America, 3.8% in Europe, 2.7% in Asia, 0.2% in Northern America, and 0.1% in Africa and Oceania each. (more...)

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Interior Azteca Theater, Houston Texas, July 15, 1927.JPG
Azteca Theater, Texas (1927)
image credit: Frank J. Schlueter

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Hilda Solis and Richard Chavez.jpg


Selected biography

Selena Quintanilla Logo.png

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995), known simply as Selena, was an American singer-songwriter. She was named the "top Latin artist of the '90s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard for her fourteen top-ten singles in the Top Latin Songs chart, including seven number-one hits. She was called "The Queen of Tejano music" and the Mexican equivalent of Madonna. Selena released her first album, Selena y Los Dinos, at the age of twelve. She won Female Vocalist of the Year at the 1987 Tejano Music Awards and landed a recording contract with EMI a few years later. Her fame grew throughout the early 1990s, especially in Spanish-speaking countries, and she had begun recording in English as well.

Selena was murdered at the age of 23 on March 31, 1995 by Yolanda Saldívar, the former president of her fan club. On April 12, 1995, two weeks after her death, George W. Bush, governor of Texas at the time, declared her birthday "Selena Day" in Texas. Warner Bros. produced Selena, a film based on her life starring Jennifer Lopez, in 1997. Selena's life was also the basis of the musical Selena Forever starring Veronica Vazquez as Selena. In June 2006 Selena was commemorated with a life-sized bronze statue (Mirador de la Flor) in Corpus Christi, Texas, and a Selena museum opened there. She has sold over 90 million albums worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She is the 3rd best selling Latin artist of all time, just behind Shakira in 2nd place and Gloria Estefan in 1st place. She is also the only female artist to have five albums on the US Billboard 200 at the same time. The Albany, NY Times Union named her one of "100 Coolest Americans in History". (more...)


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