Difference Between Latino & Mexican

Latino vs Mexican

The distinction between Mexican and Latino lies in the region associated with these two terms. Mexico is a Latin American country, which means that all Mexicans can be called Latinos since the term refers to all Americans with Latin American origins. However, there are more nuances to these terms. While there are similarities between the terms regarding a person’s ethnicity, there are also differences that will be discussed in this article. Let’s examine each term to better understand the differences between them.

Who is a Mexican?

Determining who the term Mexican applies to is simple because the term is self-explanatory. Mexican refers to anyone from Mexico, whether they currently live in another country or not. Thus, a person with origins in Mexico can be called a Mexican. This is no different from calling someone from India an Indian or someone from Australia an Australian.

For example, if you have a friend whose family lived in Mexico, you can call that friend a Mexican. There is another term specifically used for Mexicans: Chicano. It also refers to people of Mexican origin. The term Chicano was not initially accepted by the Mexican community because they considered it derogatory. However, there is no longer an issue with the term Chicano, and people use it without any problem.

Who is a Latino?

Latino is an umbrella term, a demonym, that refers to all Latin American people. Latin American people are those who live in the Latin American region. It is common to refer to an actor, dancer, scientist, or any professional with Latin descent as Latino. The word Latino serves as a differentiating tag, indicating that the person is not a native and has Latin American descent. If the person is female, the term used to describe her is Latina. Although not derogatory in meaning, this tag is despised by some living in the US, as they feel they are more American today than those with native ancestry.

So, if you are from a Latin American country such as Brazil, you are a Latino because Brazil is a Latin American country. If you have origins in Mexico, you can also be called a Latino because Mexico is a Latin American country. Although the term Latino is widely used now, there were some disputes when it was first introduced, as the Latin American community did not like having a special term to identify them. It made them feel isolated from the rest of the population. However, there is no such problem now.

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 the US.
    • Latinos have no such other name.

Latino americano is a Spanish term used to refer to an ethnic group that comes from the Latin American continent and speaks a language with Latin roots. Mexico, being in the 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.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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