Latin Americans

Last updated
Latin Americans
Total population
680,000,000
or more (in 2018) [1] [2] [3]
Regions with significant populations
Latin America
628,000,000 [1] [2]
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 209,469,323
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 126,190,788
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 49,661,048
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 44,361,150
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 28,887,118
Flag of Peru.svg  Peru 31,989,260
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 18,729,160
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 17,084,358
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala 17,247,849
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 11,338,134
Flag of Bolivia.svg  Bolivia 11,353,142
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic 10,627,141
Flag of Haiti.svg  Haiti 11,123,178
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras 9,587,522
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 6,956,066
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador 6,420,746
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua 6,465,501
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 4,999,441
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico 3,039,596
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama 4,176,869
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 3,449,285
-----
Flag of the United States.svg  United States +60,000,000 [4] [5]
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain +1,700,000 [6]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 544,380 [7]
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 354,180 [8]
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan +345,000 [9]
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 186,500 [10]
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal ~100,000 [11]
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 93,795 [12]
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 88,175 [13]
Languages
Primarily Spanish and Portuguese
Regionally French, Quechua, Mayan languages, Guaraní, Aymara, Nahuatl, and others
Religion
Predominantly Christianity (Roman Catholic) [14]
Other significant minorities

Latin Americans (Spanish : Latinoamericanos; Portuguese : Latino-americanos; French : Latino-américains) are the citizens of the Latin American countries and dependencies. Latin American countries are multi-ethnic, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Latin Americans do not take their nationality as an ethnicity, but identify themselves with both their nationality and their ancestral origins. [15] Aside from the indigenous Amerindian population, all Latin Americans or their ancestors immigrated since 1492. Latin America has the largest diasporas of Spaniards, Portuguese, Black Africans, Italians, Lebanese and Japanese in the world. [16] [17] [18] The region also has large German (second largest after the United States), [19] French, and Jewish diasporas.

Contents

The specific ethnic and/or racial composition varies from country to country: many have a predominance of European-Amerindian, or Mestizo, population; in others, Amerindians are a majority; some are mostly inhabited by people of European ancestry; and others are primarily Mulatto. [20] Various Black, Asian, and Zambo (mixed Black and Amerindian) minorities are also identified in most countries. [20] White Latin Americans are the largest single group. [15] Together with the people of part-European ancestry they combine for almost the totality of the population. [15]

Latin Americans and their descendants can be found almost everywhere in the world, particularly in densely populated urban areas. The most important migratory destinations for Latin Americans are found in the United States, Spain, Canada, Italy, and Japan.

Definition

Latin American countries (green) in the Americas Map-Latin America2.png
Latin American countries (green) in the Americas

Latin America (Spanish : América Latina or Latinoamérica; Portuguese : América Latina; French : Amérique latine) is the region of the Americas where Romance languages (i.e., those derived from Latin)—particularly Spanish and Portuguese, as well as French—are primarily spoken. [21] [22]

It includes more than 20 nations: Mexico in North America; Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama in Central America; Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, French Guiana, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in South America; Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean—in summary, Hispanic America, Brazil, and Haiti.

Latin America, therefore, can be defined as all those parts of the Americas that were once part of the Spanish, Portuguese, or French Empires. [23]

Demographics

Ethnic groups

Wititi dancers from Colca Canyon, Peru. Amerindians make up the majority of the population in Bolivia and Guatemala, and almost half in Peru Wititis.jpg
Wititi dancers from Colca Canyon, Peru. Amerindians make up the majority of the population in Bolivia and Guatemala, and almost half in Peru
Mexican musicians from the Jalisco Philarmonic Orchestra. Mestizos and Castizos compose the majority of Mexicans La Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco y su Director Titular Marco Parisotto.jpg
Mexican musicians from the Jalisco Philarmonic Orchestra. Mestizos and Castizos compose the majority of Mexicans
Italian Argentine youths in Obera. About 63% of Argentina's population has Italian ancestry. XXXIV Fiesta Nacional del Inmigrante - desfile - colectividad italiana 2.JPG
Italian Argentine youths in Oberá. About 63% of Argentina's population has Italian ancestry.
Woman from Curitiba, one of over a million Japanese Brazilians. Japanese Brazilian Miko Curitiba Parana.jpg
Woman from Curitiba, one of over a million Japanese Brazilians.
German Venezuelans from Colonia Tovar in Aragua state. German Venezuelans celebrating Oktoberfest at Colonia Tovar (Venezuela).jpg
German Venezuelans from Colonia Tovar in Aragua state.
Rapa Nui dancers from Easter Island, Chile. The Rapa Nui are a Polynesian people. Tapati 3351a.jpg
Rapa Nui dancers from Easter Island, Chile. The Rapa Nui are a Polynesian people.
Afro-Colombian fruit sellers in Cartagena. Palenqueras al natural.jpg
Afro-Colombian fruit sellers in Cartagena.

The population of Latin America comprises a variety of ancestries, ethnic groups, and races, making the region one of the most diverse in the world. The specific composition varies from country to country: many have a predominance of European-Amerindian, or Mestizo, population; in others, Amerindian are a majority; some are dominated by inhabitants of European ancestry; and some countries' populations are primarily Mulatto. Black, Asian, and Zambo (mixed Black and Amerindian) minorities are also identified regularly. White people are the largest single group, accounting for more than a third. [15] [25]

Ethnic distribution, in 2005 [15] - Population estimates, as of 2018 [1] [2]
CountryPopulation [1] [2] Amerindians Whites Mestizos Mulattoes Blacks Zambos Asians
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 44,361,1501.0%85.0%11.1%0.0%0.0%0.0%2.9%
Flag of Bolivia.svg  Bolivia 11,353,14255.0%15.0%28.0%2.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 209,469,3230.4%47.7%19.4%19.1%6.2%0.0%1.1% [38]
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 18,729,1603.0%53.0%44.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 49,661,0481.8%37.0%49.0%10.6%0.9%0.1%0.0%
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 4,999,4410.8%82.0%15.0%0.0%0.0%2.0%0.2%
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 11,338,1340.0%64.1%0.0%27.6%'9.3%0.0%1.0%
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic 10,627,1410.0%14.6%0.0%75.0%7.7%2.3%0.4%
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 17,084,35839.0%9.9%41.0%5.0%5.0%0.0%0.1%
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador 6,420,7461.0%12.0%86.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala 17,247,84939.8%18.5%41.9%0.0%0.0%0.2%0.8%
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras 9,587,5227.7%1.0%85.6%1.7%0.0%3.3%0.7%
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 126,190,78814%15%70%0.5%0.0%0.0%0.5%
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua 6,465,5015%17%69%6%3%0.6%0.2%
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama 4,176,8698.0%10.0%32.0%27.0%5.0%14.0%4.0%
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 6,956,0661.5%3.5%90.5%3.5%0.0%0.0%0.5%
Flag of Peru.svg  Peru 31,989,26045.5%12.0%32.0%9.7%0.0%0.0%0.8%
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico 3,039,5960.0%74.8%0.0%10.0%15.0%0.0%0.2%
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 3,449,2850.0%88.0%8.0%4.0%0.0%0.0%0.2% [39]
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 28,887,1182.7%42.2%42.9%0.7%2.8%0.0%2.2%
Total618,000,0009.2%36.1%30.3%20.3%3.2%0.2%0.7%

Note: Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.

Ethnic groups according to self-identification

The Latinobarómetro surveys have asked respondents in 18 Latin American countries what race they considered themselves to belong to. The figures shown below are averages for 2007 through 2011. [40]

Country Mestizo White Mulatto Black Amerindian Asian OtherDK/NR1
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 15%73%1%1%1%0%3%7%
Flag of Bolivia.svg  Bolivia 40%6%1%0%47%0%1%4%
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 18%45%15%15%2%2%0%2%
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 26%60%0%0%7%1%1%5%
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 43%29%5%7%5%0%1%9%
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 16%66%9%2%3%1%1%5%
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic 28%16%23%25%5%2%0%2%
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 78%5%3%3%7%1%0%3%
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador 62%14%3%2%5%1%2%11%
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala 29%17%2%1%44%1%2%6%
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras 61%9%3%3%12%2%1%10%
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 60%15%2%0%15%1%3%4%
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua 54%19%3%4%7%1%1%11%
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama 55%15%5%11%5%4%1%4%
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 36%35%1%1%2%0%4%20%
Flag of Peru.svg  Peru 72%12%2%1%7%0%1%5%
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 6%80%3%2%1%0%2%6%
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 45%40%3%2%4%1%0%5%
Weighted average234%33%8%6%11%0%2%7%

1Don't know/No response.
2Weighted using 2011 population.

Language

Spanish and Portuguese are the predominant languages of Latin America. Spanish is the official language of most of the rest of the countries on the Latin American mainland, as well as in Puerto Rico (where it is co-official with English), Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Portuguese is spoken only in Brazil, the biggest and most populous country in the region. French is spoken in some Caribbean islands, including Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Haiti, as well as in the overseas departments of French Guiana (South America). Dutch is the official language of some Caribbean islands and in Suriname on the continent; however, as Dutch is a Germanic language, these territories are not considered part of Latin America.

Amerindian languages are widely spoken in Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, Paraguay, and to a lesser degree, in Mexico, Chile and Ecuador. In Latin American countries not named above, the population of speakers of indigenous languages is small or non-existent.

In Peru, Quechua is an official language, alongside Spanish and any other indigenous language in the areas where they predominate. In Ecuador, while holding no official status, the closely related Quichua is a recognized language of the indigenous people under the country's constitution; however, it is only spoken by a few groups in the country's highlands. In Bolivia, Aymara, Quechua and Guaraní hold official status alongside Spanish. Guarani is, along with Spanish, an official language of Paraguay, and is spoken by a majority of the population (who are, for the most part, bilingual), and it is co-official with Spanish in the Argentine province of Corrientes. In Nicaragua, Spanish is the official language, but on the country's Caribbean coast English and indigenous languages such as Miskito, Sumo, and Rama also hold official status. Colombia recognizes all indigenous languages spoken within its territory as official, though fewer than 1% of its population are native speakers of these. Nahuatl is one of the 62 native languages spoken by indigenous people in Mexico, which are officially recognized by the government as "national languages" along with Spanish.

Other European languages spoken in Latin America include: English, by some groups in Argentina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, and Puerto Rico, as well as in nearby countries that may or may not be considered Latin American, like Belize and Guyana (English is used as a major foreign language in Latin American commerce and education); German, in southern Brazil, southern Chile, Argentina, portions of northern Venezuela, and Paraguay; Italian, in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela; Polish, Ukrainian and Russian in southern Brazil, and Welsh, [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] in southern Argentina. Hebrew and Yiddish are used by Jewish diasporas in Argentina and Brazil.

In several nations, especially in the Caribbean region, creole languages are spoken. The most widely spoken creole language in the Caribbean and Latin America in general is Haitian Creole, the predominant language of Haiti; it is derived primarily from French and certain West African tongues with Amerindian, English, Portuguese and Spanish influences as well. Creole languages of mainland Latin America, similarly, are derived from European languages and various African tongues.

Religion

The vast majority of Latin Americans are Christians (90%), [47] mostly Roman Catholics. [48] About 71% of the Latin American population consider themselves Catholic. [49] Membership in Protestant denominations is increasing, particularly in Brazil, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico. Argentina hosts the largest communities of both Jews [50] [51] [52] and Muslims [53] [54] [55] in Latin America.

Migration

Due to economic, social and security developments that are affecting the region in recent decades, a change has taken place from net immigration to net emigration. About 10 million Mexicans live in the United States. [56] 28.3 million Americans listed their ancestry as Mexican as of 2006. [57] According to the 2005 Colombian census or DANE, about 3,331,107 Colombians currently live abroad. [58] The number of Brazilians living overseas is estimated at about 2 million people. [59] An estimated 1.5 to two million Salvadorians reside in the United States. [60] At least 1.5 million Ecuadorians have gone abroad, mainly to the United States and Spain. [61] Approximately 1.5 million Dominicans live abroad, mostly in the United States. [62] More than 1.3 million Cubans live abroad, most of them in the United States. [63] It is estimated that over 800,000 Chileans live abroad, mainly in Argentina, Canada, United States and Spain. Other Chilean nationals may be located in countries like Costa Rica, Mexico and Sweden. [64] An estimated 700,000 Bolivians were living in Argentina as of 2006 and another 33,000 in the United States. [65] Central Americans living abroad in 2005 were 3,314,300, [66] of which 1,128,701 were Salvadorans, [67] 685,713 were Guatemalans, [68] 683,520 were Nicaraguans, [69] 414,955 were Hondurans, [70] 215,240 were Panamanians, [71] 127,061 were Costa Ricans [72] and 59,110 were Belizeans.

As of 2006, Costa Rica and Chile were the only two countries with global positive migration rates. [73]

Notable Latin Americans

See also

Related Research Articles

Latin America Region of the Americas where Romance languages are primarily spoken

Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French are predominantly spoken. It is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America in categorizing the New World. The term comes from the fact that the predominant languages of the countries originated with the Latin language. Most of the countries of Latin America speak Spanish and are populated by a mixed-race population.

Demographics of Peru Demografia del Perú

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Peru, including population density, ethnicity, education level, the health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The term Hispanic refers to persons, cultures, or countries related to the Spanish language, Spanish culture, Spanish people, or to Spain in general. It commonly applies to the people of countries once under colonial possession by the Spanish Empire following Spanish colonization of the Americas, parts of the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. Principally, what are today the countries of Hispanic America, the Spanish Philippines, Spanish Guinea and Spanish Sahara where Spanish may or may not be the predominant or official language and their cultures are heavily derived from Spain although with strong local indigenous or other foreign influences.

<i>Mestizo</i> Term to denote a person with European and Native American blood

Mestizo is a term historically used in Spain and Hispanic America that originally referred to a person of combined European and Indigenous American descent, regardless of where the person was born. The term was used as an ethnic/racial category for mixed-race castas that evolved during the Spanish Empire. Although broadly speaking, mestizo means someone of mixed European/indigenous heritage, the term did not have a fixed meaning in the colonial period. It was a formal label for individuals in official documentation, such as censuses, parish registers, Inquisition trials, and other matters. Individuals were labeled by priests and royal officials as mestizos, but the term was also used for self identification.

White people is a racial classification specifier, used mostly and often exclusively for people of European descent; depending on context, nationality, and point of view. The term has at times been expanded to encompass persons of Middle Eastern and North African descent, persons who are often considered non-white in other contexts. The usage of "white people" or a "white race" for a large group of mainly or exclusively European populations, defined by their light skin, among other physical characteristics, and contrasting with "black people", Amerindians, and other "colored" people or "persons of color", originated in the 17th century. It was only during the 19th century that this vague category was transformed in a quasi-scientific system of race and skin color relations.

In anthropology, Mulatto is a historical racial classification of people who are born of one white parent and one black parent.

Afro-Latin American or Black Latin American, refers to Latin Americans of significant or mainly African ancestry. The term may also refer to historical or cultural elements in Latin America thought to have emanated from this community.

Hispanophone, Hispanosphere, and Hispanic are terms used to refer to speakers of the Spanish language and the Spanish-speaking world. The terms derive from the Latin political name of the Iberian Peninsula, Hispania. In addition to the general definition of Hispanophone, some groups in the Hispanic world make a distinction between Castilian-speaking and Spanish-speaking, with the former term denoting the speakers of the Spanish language—also known as Castilian—and the latter the speakers of the Spanish or Hispanic languages.

Latin American culture is the formal or informal expression of the people of Latin America and includes both high culture and popular culture as well as religion and other customary practices.

Ethnic groups in Central America

Central America is a subregion of the Americas formed by six Latin American countries and one (officially) Anglo-American country, Belize. As an isthmus it connects South America with the remainder of mainland North America, and comprises the following countries : Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

White Latin Americans, or European Latin Americans, are Latin Americans who are considered white, typically due to European, or in some cases Levantine, descent. Latin American countries have often encouraged mixing of different ethnic groups for procreation, and even a small amount of European ancestry could entail significant upwards social mobility.

South America has an estimated population of 418.7 million and a rate of population growth of about 0.6% per year.

Latino Australians refers to Australian persons who were born in Latin America irrespective of their ancestral backgrounds, and their descendants. (Mexo’s) Brazilian Australians make up the largest proportion of Latin American Australians, followed by Chilean Australians and Salvadoran Australians. Most Latino Australians speak English but many continue to use Spanish or Portuguese as well.

The African diaspora in the Americas refers to the people born in the Americas with predominantly African ancestry. Many are descendants of persons enslaved in Africa and transferred to the Americas by Europeans, then forced to work mostly in European-owned mines and plantations, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. At present, they constitute around 200 million people in the population of the Americas.

Argentines People of the country of Argentina or who identify as culturally Argentine

Argentines are people identified with the country of Argentina. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Argentines, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Argentine.

The Spanish diaspora consists of Spanish people and their descendants who emigrated from Spain. The diaspora is concentrated in places that were part of the Spanish Empire. Countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and, to a lesser extent, Brazil, Belize, Haiti, the United States, Canada and the rest of Europe.

Ethnic groups in Latin America

The inhabitants of Latin America are from a variety of ancestries, ethnic groups and races, making the region one of the most diverse in the world. The specific composition of the group varies from country to country. Many have a predominance of European-Amerindian or Mestizo population; in others, Amerindians are a majority; some are dominated by inhabitants of European ancestry; and some countries' populations have large African or Mulatto populations.

Costa Ricans People from the country of Costa Rica

Costa Ricans, also called Ticos, are a group of people from a multiethnic Spanish-speaking nation in Central America called Costa Rica. Costa Ricans are predominantly castizos, whites and mestizo, but their country is considered a multiethnic society, which means that it is home to people of many different ethnic backgrounds. As a result, modern-day Costa Ricans do not consider their nationality as an ethnicity but as a citizenship with various ethnicities. Costa Rica has four small minority groups: Mulattoes, Blacks, Asians, and Amerindians. In addition to the "Indigenas", whites, mestizos, blacks and mulattoes, Costa Rica is also home to thousands of Asians. Most of the Chinese and Indians now living in the country are descendants of those that arrived during the 19th century as migrant workers.

Pardo is a term used in the former Portuguese and Spanish colonies in the Americas to refer to the multiracial descendants of Europeans, Indigenous Americans, and West Africans. In some places they were defined as neither exclusively mestizo, nor mulatto, nor zambo. In colonial Mexico, pardo "became virtually synonymous with mulatto, thereby losing much of its indigenous referencing." In the eighteenth century, pardo might have been the preferred label for blackness. Unlike negro, pardo had no association with slavery. Casta paintings from eighteenth-century Mexico use the label negro never pardo to identify Africans paired with Spaniards.

The Latin American diaspora refers to the dispersion of Latin Americans out of their homelands in Latin America and the communities subsequently established by them across the world.

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