White Hispanic Americans

For the white population of Latin America, see White Latin American.

White Hispanic and Latino Americans
Estadounidenses hispanos y latinos blancos
Paz de la Huerta
Total population
White Hispanic or Latino Americans
8.7% of the United States population (2010)[15]
53.0% of all Hispanic and Latino Americans (2010)[15]
Regions with significant populations
California 6,503,487 Texas 5,398,738 Florida 2,867,365[16]
English · Spanish · Spanglish
Majority Christianity
(mostly Roman Catholic, sizeable Protestant)
Minority Judaism and others.

In the United States, a White Hispanic or White Latino[17] is a citizen or resident who is racially white and of Hispanic descent. White American, itself an official U.S. racial category, refers to people "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa" who reside in the United States.[18]

Based on the definitions created by the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Census Bureau, the concepts of race and ethnicity are mutually independent, and respondents to the census and other Census Bureau surveys are asked to answer both questions. Hispanicity is independent of race, and constitutes an ethnicity category, as opposed to a racial category, the only one of which that is officially collated by the U.S. Census Bureau. For the Census Bureau, Ethnicity distinguishes between those who report ancestral origins in Spain or Hispanic America (Hispanic and Latino Americans), and those who do not (Non-Hispanic Americans).[19][20] The U.S. Census Bureau asks each resident to report the "race or races with which they most closely identify."[21]

White Americans are therefore divided between "White Hispanic" and "Non Hispanic White," the former consisting of White Americans who report Hispanophone ancestry (Spain and Hispanic Latin America), and the latter consisting of White Americans who do not report Hispanophone ancestry.

As of 2010, 50.5 million or 16.3% of Americans were ethnically Hispanic or Latino.[15] Of those, 26.7 million, or 53%, were White.

Demographic information

In the 2010 United States Census, 50.5 million Americans (16.3% of the total population) listed themselves as ethnically Hispanic or Latino. Of those, 53.0% (26.7 million) self-identified as racially white. The remaining respondents listed their races as: Some other race 36.7%, Two or more races (aka multiracial) 6.0%, Black or African American 2.5%, American Indian and Alaska Native 1.4%, Asian 0.4%, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.1%.[15]

The respondents in the "Some other race" category are reclassified as white by the Census Bureau in its official estimates of race. This means that more than 90% of all Hispanic or Latino Americans are counted as "white" in some statistics of the US government.[22]

Hispanics and Latinos who are native-born and those who are immigrant identify as White in nearly identical percentages: 53.9 and 53.7, respectively, per figures from 2007. The overall Hispanic or Latino ratio was 53.8%.[23]

Population by national origin

White Hispanics by National Origin, 2010[24]
Hispanic National Origin White population Percentage within group Inside its own population
Mexican 16,794,111 63.0% 52.8%
Puerto Rican 2,455,534 9.2% 53.1%
Cuban 1,525,521 3.5% 85.4%
Salvadoran 663,224 3.3% 40.2%
Dominican 419,016 2.8% 29.6%
Guatemalan 401,763 2.1% 38.5%
South American 1,825,468 5.5% 65.9%
All other Hispanics 2,018,397 6.8% 49.4%
Total population 26,735,713 100% 53.0%

Some Hispanic or Latino American groups that have white majorities or pluralities originate in countries that do not. For example, Mexico's white population is 9%[25] or about 17%[26] only, while Mexico is majoritarily mestizo, meaning that have European descent and Native American descent at an extent while 52.8% of Mexican Americans are White, or identify themselves as white in the Census. (See the table.)

Representation in the media

White Hispanics by State, 2007 ACS[16]
State Population % of State % of Hispanics
California 6,503,487 18 49
Texas 5,398,738 23 63
Florida 2,867,365 16 76
New York 1,161,663 7 37
Arizona 1,113,398 18 59
Illinois 715,315 6 37
New Jersey 660,649 8 48
Colorado 601,488 12 62
New Mexico 530,612 27 61
Nevada 412,985 16 64
Regional Distribution of White Hispanics, 2000[27]
Region of the U.S
West 37.7%
South 40.8%
Midwest 8.4%
Northeast 13%

Contrary to their purpose, in popular use Hispanic and Latino are often given racial values, usually non-white and mixed race, such as half-caste or mulatto, in spite of the racial diversity of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Hispanics commonly draw ancestry from European, African, and Native American populations in different proportions; some Hispanics are entirely of European ancestry, some are of African ancestry, and some are predominantly of Native Central or South American origin; but a large number Hispanics are descended from an admixture of two, three or more origins. Paradoxically, it is common for them to be stereotyped as being exclusively non-white due merely to their Spanish-speaking country of origin, regardless of whether their ancestry is European or not.[28][29][30][31] Judith Ortiz Cofer notes that appellation varies according to geographical location, observing that in Puerto Rico she is considered white, but in the United States she is considered a "brown person."[32]

On the other hand, since the early days of the movie industry in the U.S., when White Hispanic actors are given roles, they are frequently cast in non-Hispanic white roles.[30][33] Hispanic and Latino Americans began to appear in the US movie industry in the 1910s, and the leading players among them "were generally light skinned and Caucasian".[33]

Myrtle Gonzalez was one such American actress in the silent film era; she starred in at least 78 motion pictures from 1913 to 1917.[34] Anita Page was an American actress of Salvadoran descent who reached stardom in 1928, during the last years of the silent film.[35] Page was referred to as "a blond, blue-eyed Latin" and "the girl with the most beautiful face in Hollywood".[36][37]

Even today, because Americans associate Hispanic origin with brown and olive skin, Hollywood typically casts Hispanics with conventionally Caucasian features as non-Hispanic white—as in the case of Cameron Díaz, Emilio Estévez, and Charlie Sheen. Most Americans may not be aware that the actress who played "all-American" Gilmore Girl Lorelai Leigh "Rory" GilmoreAlexis Bledel—is Hispanic, with a mother from Mexico and father from Argentina.[38] The White Hispanics who are perceived as Hispanic by Americans usually have a typical Southern European pigmentation, with darker skin, hair, and eyes.

Some accuse the U.S. Hispanic media and the Latin American media of over-representing White Hispanic and Latino Americans and White Latin Americans (very often blond and blue-eyed or green-eyed), particularly in telenovelas (soap operas), while underrepresenting majority of non-white Hispanic and Latino Americans and non-white Latin Americans, amid claims that telenovelas, in particular, do not reflect the racial spectrum of Hispanic and Latino Americans.[39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47] [48] For example, in the 2005 U.S. Hispanic telenovela Olvidarte Jamas, white, blond, and blue-eyed Venezuelan American actress Sonya Smith portrayed Luisa Dominguez who is a poor mestiza woman; the actress had to wear a black wig to hide her obvious Caucasian appearance.

Marriage trends

A study of married, Hispanic, male householders revealed that U.S.-born Hispanic Whites often marry a non-Hispanic partner, although 66% still marry a Hispanic White partner. In comparison, 88% of foreign-born Hispanic White males married Hispanic White wives. Regarding U.S.-born people only, White women of non-Hispanic origin are many times more likely to marry Hispanic men of Some other race than are Hispanic White women, as 19% of native-born Hispanic Some other race householders are married to non-Hispanic White wives, compared to 2% who are married to Hispanic White wives. Hispanics who identify as "White" are roughly 1.5 times as likely to marry non-Hispanic Whites as Hispanics who do not. (Trends for Hispanic wives marrying non-Hispanic White husbands are not shown on this table.)

Race and Ethnic Distribution of Wives by Husband's Nativity, Race and Ethnicity 2000[27]
Race and Ethnicity of Husband
Native-born Foreign-born
Race and Ethnicity of Wife White Hispanic SOR Hispanic White Hispanic SOR Hispanic
White Hispanic 66% 2% 88% 3%
SOR Hispanic 2% 73% 2% 90%
Non-Hispanic White 28% 19% 7% 4%

See also


External links

  • MeXicana encounters: the making of social identities on the borderlands By Rosa Linda Fregoso
  • Richard Rodriguez.
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