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Report Number WE-2R
Component ID: #ti1119189588

Introduction

We, the American Hispanics trace our origin or descent to Spain or to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and many other Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. Our ancestors were among the early explorers and settlers of the New World. In 1609, 11 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, our Mestizo (Indian and Spanish) ancestors settled in what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Several historical events also shaped our presence in America: the Louisiana Purchase, admission of Florida and Texas into the Union, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, the Mexican Revolution, labor shortages during World War I and World War II, the Cuban Revolution, and political instability in Central and South America in the recent past. Although our common ancestry and language bind us, we are quite diverse.

We have not always appeared in the census as a separate ethnic group. In 1930, “Mexicans” were counted and in 1940, “persons of Spanish mother tongue” were reported. In 1950 and 1960, “persons of Spanish surname” were reported. The 1970 census asked persons about their “origin,” and respondents could choose among several Hispanic origins listed on the questionnaire. In 1980 and 1990, persons of “Spanish/Hispanic” origin reported as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “other Hispanic.” The 1990 census tabulated information for about 30 additional Hispanic-origin groups.

Because of our increasing diversity, the Census Bureau presents social and economic characteristics for specific Hispanic-origin groups such as Mexican, Puerto Rico, or Cuban. This report represents a fraction of the wealth of information available from the Bureau of the Census on Hispanic Americans.

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