Despite the pandemic, the United States government recognizes the contributions and culture of Hispanics in the United States. The 2020 edition of Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15th and will continue through October 15th, highlighting the cultural and socio-economical contributions of more than 60 million Latinos in this country, mostly online, with a few exceptions.
I am just one of them, and I am celebrating!
The following are 10 facts to help you be Latinx Okay. Funny, though, thirty years living in this country and I am still trying to understand what this phrase exactly means or if I am part of it, but What the heck. I’ll ask Wikipedia later. Here you go:
- A MEXICAN MAJORITY. TACOS ANYONE?
The majority of Hispanics in the United States are of Mexican origin, at 61.9%, followed by Puerto Ricans 9.7%, Cubans 4%, Salvadorans 3.9%, Dominicans 3.5%, Guatemalans 2.5%, and Colombians 2.1%.
- OVERALL, HOW LARGE IS THE HISPANIC POPULATION IN THE US?
Currently, Hispanics constitute 18.5% of the United States population, or 60.6 million. It has been projected that by 2060, Hispanics will constitute 28.6 % of the US population, or 119 million people. However, the Pew Research Center has noticed a slow-down in population growth within the last decade, due to a less number of births by Hispanic women and a decrease in immigration, and this may affect the projected figures.
- HISPANIC, LATINO OR LATINX?
People who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean are of Hispanic descent, states the U.S. Census. Hence, the term “Hispanics.” Millions of us have immigrated to the United States from the above countries and regions, legally or illegally, by choice or by forced migration. Several communities and people prefer to be called “Latino,” and lately, we are supposed to be “LatinX,” because, among other reasons, it is gender-neutral. Please add to this in the comment section.
- MORE HISPANICS IN THE U.S. SPEAK ENGLISH
In 2018, 71% of Latinos ages 5 and older spoke English proficiently, up from 59% in 2000.
- WAIT. DO WE STILL HABLAMOS ESPAÑOL OR ARE WE MOSTLY BILINGUAL?
There are approximately 41 million of Hispanics age 5 and older who speak Spanish at home. Spanish (Castilian) is the second most important language spoken in the United States, but that is not all, according to a 2018 Census Survey, there are 23.1 million of Spanish speakers who also speak English well.
- SPANISH IS OUR MOTHER TONGUE
Whether people like to be called Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, LatinX, Mexican American, Cuban, Puerto-Rican or other, what unifies Hispanics is the Spanish-language as well as similarities in culture, religion and popular traditions. Usually, the first generation speaks Spanish and their descendants may or may not, but all have a level of knowledge of the Spanish-language, the cultural nuances, and the common historical background. By the way, when I say Spanish I mean what others refer to it as “Castilian Spanish,” or “Castellano.”
- ARE WE CITIZENS OR NOT?
According to the Pew Hispanic Research Center, “Four in-five Latinos are U.S. citizens. As of 2018, about 80% of Latinos living in the country are U.S. citizens, up from 74% in 2010. This includes people born in the U.S. and its territories (including Puerto Rico), people born abroad to American parents and immigrants who have become naturalized citizens. Among the origin groups, virtually all Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. Spaniards (91%), Panamanians (89%) and Mexicans (80%) have some of the highest citizenship rates, while Hondurans (53%) and Venezuelans (51%) have the lowest rates.”
- THIRTY-TWO MILLION LATINOS ARE ELEGIBLE TO VOTE
32 Million. That is huge! The 2020 election will mark the first time that Hispanics will be the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate, accounting for just over 13% of eligible voters (up from 8.4% of elegible voters in 2012.) Candidates should be knocking Hispanics doors, but the question remains: Will Latinos actually vote this November?
- RECENTLY ARRIVED LATINOS ARE MORE EDUCATED
According to an analysis of Census Data by the Pew Research Center, “about a quarter (26%) of recently arrived Latino immigrants ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or more education in 2018, up from just 10% in 1990. They are among a rapidly growing share of recently arrived Hispanic immigrants who have completed high school – 67% in 2018, up from 38% in 1990.”
- HISPANIC ART AND CULTURE
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo along with muralist Diego Rivera may be the most known Latino artists and cultural icons of the 20th century, but there has not been a shortage of painters, musicians, poets, dancers, and more within the Hispanic/Latino culture in the United States, Latin America, and abroad. And we are yet to see a full expression of Latino Millennial’s art in all its categories, including street art and a variety of music and dance genres. Alex Santana from Artsy.net compiled a great list of influentials including of Hispanic descent, including Luz Donoso, Ana Mendieta, Wilfredo Lam, Antonio Berni, Tunga and more. Click here for the most influential Latin American artists in the 20th century.
Content by Lupita Peimbert.
Sources: United States Census and Pew Research Center.
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