Study finds that many Latinos no Longer think of Themselves as Latinos
According to an analysis of two national surveys by the Pew Research Center, about 11 percent, roughly 5 million people, of the estimated 43 million adults in the U.S. with Hispanic ancestry didn’t identify themselves as either Latino or Hispanic. The analysis was released in December 2017 and it states that the closer people are to their immigrant roots, the more likely Americans with Hispanic ancestry were to identify as Hispanic. The results from the surveys are a bit surprising given that people with Hispanic ancestry are one of the largest ethnic groups in the United States. According to Pew,
By the third generation—a group made up of the U.S.-born children of U.S.-born parents and immigrant grandparents—the share that self-identifies as Hispanic falls to 77 percent. And by the fourth or higher generation…just half of U.S. adults with Hispanic ancestry say they are Hispanic.
Pew points to three major trends in the Latino community that might explain the drop off in self-identification with the ethnic group: lower immigration rates from Latin America since the Great Recession, the drop in fertility rate among Hispanic women, and high intermarriage rates among Latinos. According to Pew, among adult respondents who say they have Hispanic ancestry but do not self-identify as either Latino or Hispanic, 81 percent of them say they never thought of themselves as Hispanic mainly because their ancestry is too far removed or their background is mixed. An important indicator that might predict whether someone identifies as Hispanic or Latino is their proficiency in Spanish. Pew notes that racial and ethnic identity in the U.S. since the 1960s has been based on self-reports, so neither having a Spanish last name nor having Hispanic parents automatically makes you Latino or Hispanic. The Pew surveys really do open up some eyes regarding how ancestry fits into various generations of families.