Difference Between Latino and Mexican

Latino vs Mexican

The difference between Mexican and Latino has everything to do with the region that is associated to these two terms. Mexico is a Latin American country, which implies that all Mexicans automatically qualify to be called Latinos as this is a term that has been coined by authorities to refer to all Americans having Latin American origins. However, there is more to the two terms. Though, there are similarities between these terms that refer to the ethnicity of a person, there are differences that will be discussed in this article. Let us pay attention to each term so that we can understand the difference between them better.

Who is a Mexican?

Understanding to whom you can use the term Mexican is very easy because the term tells it all. As the term implies, Mexican is a straight forward term that includes all those belonging to Mexico, whether or not living at present in any other country. This means, a person who has his or her origins in Mexico can be named as a Mexican. This is no different from telling someone from India as Indian or someone from Australia as Australian.

For example, think that you have a friend who comes from a family who lived in Mexico. So, you can call that friend a Mexican. There is another term that is specifically used for Mexicans. That term is Chicano. It also refers to people who have their origins in Mexico. The term Chicano was not accepted by the Mexican community when it was first introduced. This was because the Mexicans considered that term as a derogatory term when it was first introduced. However, by now there is no such problem with the term Chicano, and people use it without a problem.

Difference Between Latino and Mexican

Who is a Latino?

Latino is an umbrella word, a demonym, that refers to all Latin American people. Latin American people are the people who live in the Latin American region. It is common to refer to an actor, dancer, and scientist or for that matter a person involved in any profession and having a Latin descent as Latino. The word Latino is like a differentiating tag. This is a tag that tells at first sight that the person is not a native and has a Latin American descent. If the person is a female, the word used to describe her is Latina. Though, not derogatory in meaning, this tag is despised by those living in US as they feel they are more American today than those having a native ancestry.

So, if you are from a Latin American country such as Brazil then, you are a Latino. That is because Brazil is a Latin American country. If you have your origins in Mexico also you can be called a Latino because Mexico is also a Latin American country.

Though the term Latino is widely used now, when it was first introduced, there were some disputes as the Latin American community did not like having a special term to identify them. It made them feel like they were being isolated from the rest of the population. However, there is no such problem now.

 Latino vs Mexican

What is the difference between Latino and Mexican?

• Definition of Latino and Mexican:

• All people with origins in Mexico are referred to as Mexicans in the US.

• All people from Latin American countries are referred to as Latino.

• Connection between Latino and Mexican:

• All Mexicans are technically Latinos.

• However, if you say all Latinos are Mexicans you are wrong.

• Other Names:

• Mexicans are also known as Chicanos in US.

• Latinos have no such other name.

Latino americano is a word in Spanish language that is used to refer to an ethnic group that comes from a Latin American continent and speaks a language that has Latin roots. Mexico, being in Latin American continent qualifies as a Latin American country and hence all Mexicans are Latinos. It is like asking the difference between French and Europeans. France is in Europe, and all French people are Europeans. Similarly, Mexico is in Latin America and all Mexicans are Latinos. However, the converse of the statement cannot be true as Latino is a broader term that encompasses all those who have a Latin American origin.

Images Courtesy:

  1. Jarabe Tapatío, an example of traditional Mexican dance and costumes by Supaman89 (CC BY 3.0)
  2. Latino woman via Pixabay (Public Domain)