Hispanic American Diversity
The population of the United States is a diverse community. One of the largest ethnic groups in
America is the Hispanic America community with a population of 45,476,938 people out of total United
States population of 301,461,533 (American Fact Finder, 2010). Four groups that are a part of the
Hispanic or Latino community are Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Columbian Americans, and Cuban
Americans. These community shares a common language heritage but have differences in other areas
such as political, social, economic, and familial conventions.
Mexican Americans are the largest Hispanic group in America with an estimated population of
29,333,047 (American Fact Finder, 2010). In 1990 the settlement pattern of Mexican Americans was 94%
living in cities or towns with the highest concentration in the Los Angeles, California, area (Engelkirk &
Marin, 2011). The pattern of living in close-knit ethnic communities encourages the use the Spanish
language. Some Mexican Americans living in Colorado and northern New Mexico can trace their heritage
back 10 generations and are considered “charter members” of the United States, pre-dating the first
Anglo-American settlers (Engelkirk & Marin, 2011). Their language and culture are very strong in the
area. Persistent immigration has not let Spanish disappear even with the consistent encroachment from the
media and efforts of the public school system.
The politics of Mexican Americans has been traditionally Democratic. According to a 1992
Latino National Political Survey, 60% of Latinos describe themselves as Democrats, 16% Republican,
and 24% as independent (Engelkirk & Marin, 2011). The representation of Hispanics in political offices
does not reflect the population in America because of the large number of Mexican Americans ineligible
to vote because of their citizenship status.
The social pattern of Mexican Americans is that high concentrations gravitate to communities
where the inhabitants of the same ethnicity. The Mexican culture stays strong when they can work, attend
church, attend social activities, and worship together. For reasons of socioeconomic and discrimination
with few exceptions, the Mexican American community usually stays within the areas where they can
afford housing and speak the language of their culture. Religion is another social aspect that governs the
social life of Mexican Americans. The religion is a form of Catholicism, which is widely known as
Mexican Catholic. The basic premise of the religion is shared but with more cultural rituals involved.
The traditional family is a patriarchal hierarchy or male dominated. The need for more men of the
families to be away from the family for migrant work has changed the dynamic of the traditional home
with the wife taking on more of the responsibilities. There is also a tradition of an extended family
dynamic with outside family members providing support for newly immigrated family.
According to the American Community Survey of 2005-2009, the Puerto Rican population in