Hispanic Americans and Latino Americans (Spanish: hispanos [isˈpanos], latinos) are United States citizens, descending from the peoples of the countries of Latin America and Iberia. More generally, it includes all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino, whether of full or partial ancestry. For the US census in 2010, American Community Survey, people counted as "Hispanic" or "Latino" are those who identify as one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the census or ACS questionnaire ("Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban") as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino." The countries or people who are in the Hispanic or Latino American groups as classified by the Census Bureau are the following: Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It is important to note that the Census office of the U.S. excludes Brazilian Americans from the Hispanic and Latino American population (Brazil is part of Latin America, but has a Portuguese language culture rather than a Spanish language culture).
Origin can be viewed as the ancestry, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race. As the only specifically designated category of ethnicity in the United States (other than non-Hispanic/Latino), Hispanics form a pan-ethnicity incorporating a diversity of inter-related cultural and linguistic heritages. Most Hispanic ethnic groups Hispanic Americans are predominantly of Mexican origin, and in smaller numbers, of Nuevomexicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan, and Colombian origin.
Hispanic Americans are the second fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States after Asian Americans. As of 2014, Hispanics constitute 17.37% of the United States population, or 55.3 million people. The United States has the second-largest community of people of Hispanic origin other than Mexico, having surpassed Argentina, Colombia, and Spain within the last decade. This figure includes 38 million Spanish-speaking Americans. Hispanic/Latinos overall are the second-largest ethnic group in the United States, after non-Hispanic Whites (a group which, like Hispanics and Latinos, is composed of dozens of sub-groups of differing national origin).
Hispanics have occupied territory of the present-day United States continuously since the sixteenth-century founding by the Spanish of Saint Augustine, Florida. After Native Americans, Hispanics are the oldest ethnic group to inhabit what is today the United States. Many have Native American ancestry. Spain colonized large areas of what is today the American Southwest and West Coast, including present-day California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, all of which were under the Republic of Mexico after its independence in the 19th century and until the end of the Mexican–American War.(Wikipedia)