Race & Culture: Hispanics


Hispanic Americans or Latinos refer to groups and people who have genetic or cultural links to individuals of Spanish-speaking origin. The lineage of Latinos in the United States is traced back in 1450 when Spanish soldiers and explorers settled in the central parts of America, southwestern region, and Mexico (Marger, 2015). Moreover, Latinos are made of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Mexican, Dominicans, Central and South Americans. Currently, Hispanic individuals are the largest racial minority in the United States with the number of 56.6 million which represents 17.6 percents of the national population (Airriess, 2016). Between 2014 and 2015, 1.2 million Latinos added to the country’s population which is a half number of individuals who added to the total population of America. The population increase between 2014 and 2015 was 2.2 percent while it is projected that there will be 119 million Hispanic Americans by 2060 accounting for 28.6 percent of the country total population (Marger, 2015). Based on the statistics, 63.4 percent of Latinos have Mexican origin, 9.5% Puerto Rican, 3.7 percent Cuban, 2.4 % Guatemalan, 3.3% Dominican, 3.8 % Salvadoran while the rest are South and Central Americans or Latino origin (Airriess, 2016).

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Economic Condition

Between 2009 and 2005, the median homestead wealth of Hispanic Americans dropped by 66 percent when compared to 16% among whites and 53% among blacks. The unemployment rate among Latinos was 11 percent by 2011 which was an increase from 6.3 in 2007 (Henneberg, 2017). The poverty rate among this racial group rose by 6% which is more than other ethnic faction Americans. Further, the poverty rate for Latinos in 2014 was 23.6% while the median household income was 42500 dollars. The yearly personal earning is 24600 dollars while 24.3 percent of all Latinos lack the wellbeing insurance cover (Henneberg, 2017). Besides, 64.7 percent of Hispanics from 25 years and above attended high school by 2013 with 14% having a bachelor degree or higher. Also, above 20 percent Latino females below 18 years leave under the poverty level (Marger, 2015).

Discrimination and Negative Experience

Latinos have had negative experiences and prejudices in the United States. Some of the negative encounters include job segregation, violence as well as school segregation (Marger, 2015). About half of the Hispanics have been discriminated or treated unfairly due to their ethnicity or race. Educated Latinos encounter more discrimination and stereotyping than less-educated counterparts because of their increased contact with the whites. Furthermore, the 2013 reports indicated that Hispanics are the second most segregated ethnic faction after the blacks (Airriess, 2016). By 2011, below 30 percent of Latino scholars graduated from secondary school and 4% with college degrees. Working in the prejudiced conditions leads to bitterness, lack of self-confidence, depression, and withdrawal from work. Latino women earn 54 cents for each dollar earned by the whites, and the school dropout is 17 percent (Henneberg, 2017). Moreover, 30 percent of Hispanics lack health insurance and are likely to be harassed or checked by police. However, Hispanics have been immune to racism by encouraging education among youths and protesting whenever racism is encountered.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The major benefits of the Hispanic Americans are that their celebrities are multiplying as well as education levels. Further, Latinos have the chance to speak different languages in the country, and various programs are aimed at improving their livelihood (Airriess, 2016). However, the major disadvantages include being discriminated at the workplace and in the job market. Also, Hispanics are likely to face police brutality and being suspects of criminals or illegal immigrants.



Airriess, C. A. (2016). Contemporary Ethnic Geographies in America. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.

Henneberg, S. (2017). Race in America. New York: Greenhaven Publishing.

Marger, M. (2015). Race and ethnic relations: American and global perspectives. Stamford, CT, USA: Cengage Learning.