Who Is Hispanic? Hispanic Identity among African Americans, Asian Americans, Others, and Whites* Academic Article uri icon


  • Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the United States and their presence is likely to continue to expand. Little is known, however, about the correlates of Hispanic identity or the processes that are involved in its maintenance. We investigate these issues by ascertaining and then seeking to understand the various associations between reported racial identities and Hispanic ethnicity using data from the Current Population Surveys. Restricting the sample to individuals who are known to have demographic origins in Latin America, our results indicate that persons with African or Asian racial identifications are substantially less likely than whites or Others to also identify as Hispanic. Relative to the first generation, Hispanic identification declines and the racial differences increase in the second generation. The exceptions in this regard are Others for whom racial and Hispanic identifications are the most highly associated for both the first and second generations. These findings are interpreted as reflecting various social processes that are involved in the development and maintenance of racial and ethnic identities. Our results provide insight into the complex, social nature of Hispanic identification in modern America. © 2008 Alpha Kappa Delta.

published proceedings

  • Sociological Inquiry

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, K. H., Sakamoto, A., & Powers, D

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Choi, Kate H||Sakamoto, Arthur||Powers, Daniel

publication date

  • August 2008