3/4 Fourths of Hispanics Say Their Community Needs a Leader: Most Latinos Cannot Name One

By Mark Hugo Lopez

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1. Overview

Three-quarters of Latinos living in the U.S. say that their community needs a national leader, but about the same share either cannot name one or don’t believe one exists, according to a new national survey of 5,103 Latino adults conducted by the Pew Research Center from May 24 to July 28, 2013.

When asked in an open-ended question to name the person they consider “the most important Hispanic leader in the country today,” 62% say they don’t know and an additional 9% say “no one.”

In a follow-up question on how important it is for the U.S. Hispanic community to have a national leader advancing its concerns, three-quarters of Hispanic adults say it is “extremely” (29%) or “very” important (45%).

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were each cited by 5% of survey respondents as the most important Hispanic leader in the country today, followed by former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at 3% and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) at 2%. No one else was mentioned by more than 2% of respondents in the survey.1

The survey was conducted at a time when Latino political leaders and civic organizations have been pressing hard for legislation in Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11.7 million immigrants, the vast majority of them Latino, who are living in this country illegally.

Not All Hispanics See Shared Common Values Among U.S. Hispanics…Even though most Latinos say their community needs a national leader to advance its concerns, the survey finds that not all Latinos agree that their community has shared values.

Overall, four-in-ten (39%) respondents say that U.S. Latinos of different origins share “a lot” of values, while another 39% say U.S. Latinos share “some” values and an additional 19% say that they share few or no values. By similar shares, Latinos living in this country are divided about how many values they share with Latinos living in their families’ country of origin.

In another finding that reflects diversity within the Latino community on matters of values and identity, just one-in-five (20%) survey respondents say they most often describe themselves by the pan-ethnic labels “Hispanic” or “Latino.”2

A majority (54%) say they usually use their family’s Hispanic origin term (such as Mexican, Cuban, Salvadoran) to identify themselves, followed by 23% who use “American” most often. The survey also finds that when asked which pan-ethnic term they prefer, “Hispanic” or “Latino,” half (50%) say they have no preference.

The survey finds that half (49%) of all Latinos say they consider themselves a typical American, while 44% say they feel different from the typical American—a share that rises to 67% among immigrants who came to the U.S. in the past five years.

Diverse Views of Identity Among HispanicsMore than 53 million Latinos live in the U.S. today. It is one of the nation’s fastest-growing groups, accounting for more than half of U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2010 (Passel, Cohn and Lopez, 2011). Latinos have also seen the community’s political clout grow, with record turnout in each successive presidential election since 1996 (Lopez and Gonzalez-Barrera, 2013).

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted by landline and cellular telephone, in English and Spanish, from May 24 to July 28, 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 5,103 Hispanic adults. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. For details on the survey methodology, see Appendix A.

Among the survey’s other findings:

Naming a National Leader

  • Among Hispanics of Cuban origin, some 40% named a leader. By contrast, just 25% of Mexican-origin Hispanics and Salvadoran-origin Hispanics named a leader, the lowest shares among Hispanic origin groups.
  • Named leaders are linked to Hispanic origin for some groups. For example, among Cubans, the most named Hispanic leader was Rubio (with 25%). He is of Cuban origin and represents Florida, where 70% of U.S. Cubans reside. Among Puerto Ricans, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was most often named (with 11%). She is of Puerto Rican background and is from the Bronx (25% of Puerto Ricans reside in the New York-northeastern New Jersey metropolitan area).

Need for a National Hispanic Leader

  • Foreign-born Hispanics are more likely than native-born Hispanics (82% versus 64%) to say it is “extremely” or “very” important that the nation’s Hispanic community have a national leader advancing its concerns.
  • Fully 85% of Spanish-dominant Latinos say it is extremely or very important that the U.S. Latino community have a national leader. Among bilingual Latinos, 74% say the same. However, among English-dominant Latinos, fewer (60%) say this.
  • Those who see “a lot” of shared values among Hispanics in the U.S. are the most likely to say a national leader is needed. Fully 82% of this group say it is extremely or very important for the U.S. Hispanic community to have a national leader, compared with 72% among Hispanics who say U.S. Hispanics have only “some” values in common and 69% among those who say Hispanics share “only a little” or no values.

Terms Used Most Often to Describe Identity

  • The terms used to describe identity are linked to immigrant generation. Among foreign-born Latinos, two-thirds (66%) say they describe themselves most often by their Hispanic origin term (for example, Mexican, Colombian, Salvadoran). Among second-generation Latinos, 48% say the same, while among Latinos in the third and higher generation, just 20% do this.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Dominican Latinos say they most often use the term “Dominican” to describe themselves. Among Cubans, 63% usually use the term “Cuban” to describe their identity. By contrast, just half of Salvadorans (49%) use “Salvadoran” as their principal identity label.
  • Among Latinos with Puerto Rican origin, while 55% say they most often use the term “Puerto Rican” to describe their identity, 28%”—more than any other group—most often use the term “American. (People born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth.) Foreign-born Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as native-born Hispanics to usually use their Hispanic origin term to describe themselves—66% versus 36%. When it comes to using the term “American” most often to describe themselves, the pattern reverses: the native born are four times as likely as the foreign born to do so, 42% versus 10%.

Hispanic or Latino?

  • Half of Latinos say they have no preference for either the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino.” However, when a preference is expressed, Hispanic (33%) is preferred over Latino (15%) by a margin of 2-1.
  • Among Hispanics residing in Texas, just as many say they prefer the term “Hispanic” as say they have no preference for either term—46% versus 44%.

Typical American or Not?

  • Some 57% of Puerto Ricans, 55% of Cubans and 53% of Dominicans say they think of themselves as a typical American. (People born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth.) By contrast, just one-third of Salvadorans (35%) and other Central Americans (33%) say the same.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of native-born Hispanics say they think of themselves as a typical American, while 31% say they think of themselves as very different from a typical American. By contrast, views among the foreign born are reversed. Some 37% say they consider themselves a typical American, and 53% say they consider themselves as very different from a typical American.
  • Among immigrant Latinos, the share that say they think of themselves as a typical American rises the longer an immigrant has been in the U.S. Two-in-ten (21%) immigrants who have been in the U.S. for five years or less say they think of themselves as a typical American; among those who have been in the U.S. for 20 years or more, about half (49%) say this.

Shared Values among U.S. Hispanics

  • Among Hispanics of Salvadoran origin, half (51%) say Salvadorans living in the U.S. and Hispanics from different countries living in the U.S. share “a lot” of values. By comparison, 38% of Mexicans and 36% of Puerto Ricans say different U.S. Hispanic groups have a lot of values in common.
  • Immigrant Latinos are more likely than native-born Latinos to say those of their Latino origin group have a lot of values in common with Latinos from different countries living in the U.S.—43% versus 33%.

Shared Values among Hispanics in the U.S. and those in the Home Countries

  • When asked how much values U.S. Hispanics have in common with people living in their country of Hispanic origin, 38% say “a lot,” 34% say “some,” and 25% say “only a little” or “almost nothing.”
  • Some 56% of Salvadorans say those in the U.S. share a lot of values with people living in El Salvador. That is the highest share among Hispanic origin groups.
  • One-third (36%) of Cubans say those in the U.S. share only a little or almost nothing with people living in Cuba. That is the highest share saying this among Hispanic origin groups.

2. Latinos and National Leadership

Who Is the Most Important Hispanic Leader in the Country Today?When asked in an open-ended question who is the nation’s most important Hispanic leader in the country today, most Hispanics say either they don’t know (62%) or no one (9%).3

These findings are largely unchanged from 2010, when in response to the same open-ended question about who is the nation’s most important Latino leader, 64% of Latino adults said “don’t know” and an additional 10% said “no one” (Taylor and Lopez, 2010).

The most named individuals in the recent survey are U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Each was named by 5% of survey respondents.

The Pew Research survey also reveals that naming a leader varies across Latino demographic subgroups. Among Cubans, 55% say they “don’t know” (45%) or say “no one” (10%) is a national leader for the U.S. Latino community. By contrast, among Mexicans, 74% say “don’t know” (65%) or say “no one” (9%), among the highest shares.

In some cases, named leaders are tied to Hispanic origin groups. For example, 25% of Cubans named Rubio as the most important Hispanic leader in the country today. Sen. Rubio is of Cuban ancestry and represents Florida, where 70% of U.S. Cubans reside. Among Puerto Ricans, the most named leader is Justice Sotomayor at 11%—she is of Puerto Rican ancestry and is from the Bronx (25% of Puerto Ricans reside in the New York-northeastern New Jersey metropolitan area). Villaraigosa, the former Los Angeles mayor, is tied with Sotomayor as the most named leader among Mexican-origin Hispanics. Villaraigosa is of Mexican origin, and 36% of U.S. Mexicans reside in California.

The naming of a leader is not always tied to Hispanic origin, though. Among Salvadorans, the most named is Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican origin, at 7%. The Illinois congressman has been working for comprehensive immigration reform for many years, an issue of concern to many Salvadorans. Among Dominicans, Sotomayor is the most named Hispanic leader, followed by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). Neither is of Dominican origin, but 62% of U.S. Dominicans reside in New York or New Jersey.

Across other Latino demographic subgroups, results are similar. For example, among immigrant Latinos, 60% say they don’t know who the nation’s most important Latino national leader is; among native-born Latinos, 64% say the same.

Is a National Latino Leader Needed?

How Important Is It for the U.S. Hispanic Community to Have a National Leader Advancing Its Concerns?While most Hispanics are unable to name a national leader, Hispanics overwhelmingly see the need for a national Hispanic leader advancing the concerns of the U.S. Hispanic community. Overall, three-fourths say a leader is needed.

This view is held by all major demographic subgroups of Hispanics. For example, among Dominicans, 90% say it is “extremely” or “very” important for the Hispanic community to have such a leader. Among Salvadorans, 87% say the same, as do 75% of Mexicans, 74% of Puerto Ricans and 70% of Cubans.

Views on the need of a national leader vary some by nativity, but majorities of both immigrant Latinos and native-born Latinos say one is needed. Among immigrant Latinos, 82% say it is extremely important (29%) or very important (53%) for the U.S. Latino community to have a national leader advancing its concerns. Among native-born Latinos, 64% say the same.

Similarly, views on the need for a national leader are linked to language use. Fully 85% of Spanish-dominant Latinos say it is extremely (26%) or very (60%) important that the U.S. Latino community have a national leader advancing its concerns. Among bilingual Latinos, 74% say the same. Among English-dominant Latinos, 60% say it is extremely (28%) or very (33%) important that the U.S. Latino community have a leader advancing its concerns.

3. Hispanic Identity

Latinos in the U.S. describe their identity in many ways, reflecting the diversity of origins in the Latino community, the immigrant experience and geography. Broadly, some Latinos use pan-ethnic terms such as “Hispanic” or “Latino” to describe their identity; some prefer their family’s Hispanic origin group; others use “American”. Previous Hispanic Trends Project surveys have found that most Latinos have used all of these at some point to describe themselves (Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, 2009; Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, 2002).

The Pew Research Center survey finds that among all Hispanics, a family’s Hispanic origin group is by far the most frequent way Hispanics describe their identity. But views of identity and the terms Hispanic use differs some by Hispanic origin and other demographic factors.

How Hispanics Describe Their Identity

Across Hispanic Origin Groups, Most Use a Specific Hispanic Origin Term to Describe Their IdentityWhen describing their identity, more than half (54%) of Hispanics say they most often use the name of their ancestors’ Hispanic origin (such as Mexican, Dominican, Salvadoran or Cuban). An additional 23% say they describe themselves most often as “American.” And one-in-five (20%) most often use the pan-ethnic terms of “Hispanic” or “Latino” to describe their identity.

Term Used Most Often to Describe IdentityAcross Hispanic origin groups, about half or more in each group say they most often use their Hispanic origin term to describe their identity, though preferences for “Hispanic” or “Latino” differ. Among Dominicans, two-thirds (66%) say they use the Hispanic origin term “Dominican” most often to describe themselves. Among Cubans, 63% say they use the term “Cuban” most often, among Hispanics of Mexican origin 57% say they use “Mexican” most often, and among Puerto Ricans, 55% say they use “Puerto Rican” most often. Among Salvadorans, about half (49%) most often use “Salvadoran” to describe themselves.

While many Hispanics most often use their family’s origin term to describe themselves, there are differences across Hispanic origin groups in the use of other identity terms. For example, among Puerto Ricans, 28% say they most often describe themselves as “American,” a higher share than any other Hispanic origin group. (People born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth.) By contrast, among Salvadorans, just 12% say they most often describe themselves as “American.” In the case of the pan-ethnic terms “Hispanic” or “Latino,” Salvadorans are more likely than any other Hispanic origin group—36%—to say they use these terms most often to describe themselves.

Nativity and immigrant generation are also linked to the terms that Hispanics use to describe themselves. Among all Hispanics, two-thirds of immigrants and 36% of the native born most often use the name of their family’s origin term to describe themselves.

This pattern is also true among Hispanic origin groups. In the case of Mexican-origin Hispanics, 70% of the foreign born usually use the term “Mexican” to describe themselves, compared with 39% of U.S.-born Hispanics of Mexican origin. For Puerto Ricans, among those born on the island (or in another country outside the U.S.), 74% most often use the term “Puerto Rican” to describe themselves. Among Puerto Ricans born in the 50 states or D.C., just 42% do the same.

Half (48%) of second-generation Hispanics most often describe themselves by their family’s Hispanic origin name. Among third-generation Hispanics, that share is just 20% while six-in-ten (59%) usually use the term “American” to describe themselves.

For immigrant Hispanics, the use of country of Hispanic origin to describe identity is lower among those who have been in the U.S. longer than it is among those who have more recently arrived. For example, among those who have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years, 59% use their specific Hispanic origin to describe their identity. By comparison, eight-in-ten (79%) immigrant Hispanics who have lived in the U.S. for five years or less most often use their specific Hispanic origin to describe themselves.

The terms used to describe identity are also connected to language. Seven-in-ten (72%) Spanish-dominant Hispanics most often use their Hispanic origin term to describe themselves. Among bilingual Latinos, this share is 53%. And among English-dominant Latinos, 30% do the same. But among English-dominant Latinos, half (51%) use the term “American” to describe their identity.

Hispanic or Latino? Most Don’t Care

Preference for the Terms “Hispanic” and “Latino,” by Hispanic Origin GroupAs other Hispanic Trends Project surveys have found (Taylor, Lopez, Martínez and Velasco, 2012), Hispanics have no preference between the two pan-ethnic terms most commonly used to describe the Hispanic community. According to the 2013 survey, when asked which term they prefer, half (50%) of Hispanics say they have no preference between the two. Among those who do have a preference, “Hispanic” is preferred to “Latino” by two-to-one (33% versus 15% of all respondents).

Across Hispanic origin groups, there are some differences in preferences. Six-in-ten (60%) Dominicans say they have no preference for either term, 29% prefer “Hispanic” and 11% say they prefer “Latino.” By contrast, among Hispanics of South American origin, half (51%) say they have no preference for either term, but opinions are split when it comes to preferences for “Hispanic” or “Latino”—24% prefer Hispanic and 24% prefer Latino. A similar pattern is present among Salvadoran-origin Hispanics—half (49%) have no preference between “Hispanic” or “Latino,” 28% prefer Hispanic and nearly as many (22%) prefer Latino. The same is true among other Hispanics of Central American origin.

Preferences for “Hispanic” or “Latino” differ depending on demographic characteristics. Half of all immigrant Latinos (49%) say they have no preference for either pan-ethnic term.

Preference for the Terms “Hispanic” and “Latino”Similarly, age is related to use of pan-ethnic terms. Some 56% of young Latinos say they have no preference for either term. Among Latinos ages 65 and older, just 43% say the same. But no matter which age group is examined, among those who prefer a term, “Hispanic” is preferred over “Latino.”

In California, the most populous Hispanic state with more than 14 million Hispanics, among those with a preference, “Hispanic” is preferred over “Latino” (30% versus 17% of all respondents). Even more so, in Texas, the second most populous Hispanic state, “Hispanic” is preferred to “Latino” among those with a preference by about 6-to-1—46% versus 8%. In addition, Texas is the only one of the largest Hispanic states where just as many prefer the term “Hispanic” (46%) as say they have no preference for either term (44%). In Florida and New York, preference for “Hispanic” over “Latino” looks much like California, with “Hispanic” the preferred pan-ethnic term among those who have a preference.

Typical American or Not?

Do You Think of Yourself as a Typical American? By Hispanic Origin GroupHispanics are split on whether they think of themselves as a “typical American” or “very different from a typical American.” According to the survey, 49% of Hispanics say the former, while 44% say the latter.

Puerto Ricans are among the most likely Hispanic origin group to say they think of themselves as a typical American, with 57% saying this while 38% say they think of themselves as very different from a typical American. (People born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth.) Among Cubans, 55% say they see themselves as a typical American, while 37% say they think of themselves as very different from a typical American.

By contrast, just 35% of Salvadorans say they think of themselves as a typical American, while 51% say they are very different from a typical American. And among other Central American Hispanics in the U.S., one-third (33%) say they think of themselves as a typical American, while 56% say they are very different from a typical American.

Among Mexicans and South Americans, views are split. Half (48%) of Mexicans say they think of themselves as a typical American, while 46% say they think of themselves as very different from a typical American. Among South Americans in the U.S., those shares are 46% and 48%, respectively.

Do You Think of Yourself as a Typical American?Views about whether people think of themselves as a typical American or not also vary by demographic subgroups within the Hispanic community. For example, two-thirds of native-born Hispanics say they think of themselves as a typical American, while just 37% of foreign-born Hispanics say the same.

The share of native-born Hispanics who say they think of themselves as a typical American rises through the generations. Six-in-ten (63%) second-generation Hispanics say they think of themselves as a typical American, as do 71% of third-generation Hispanics.

For Hispanic immigrants, the share that thinks of themselves as a typical American rise with time in the U.S. Among immigrants who have been in the country for five years or less, 21% say they think of themselves as a typical American while 67% say they think of themselves as very different from a typical American. By contrast, among Hispanic immigrants who have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years, a greater share (49%) say they think of themselves as a typical American, and 41% say they think of themselves as very different from a typical American.

Two-thirds (68%) of English-dominant Hispanics say they think of themselves as a typical American. That share falls to 53% among bilingual Hispanics and just 32% among Spanish-dominant Hispanics.

Views vary by age as well. Among young Latinos ages 18 to 29, 49% say they think of themselves as a typical American, while 47% say they think of themselves as very different from a typical American. Among those ages 30 to 49, these shares are 43% and 50%, respectively. Pluralities of Hispanics ages 50 to 64 and ages 65 and older say they think of themselves as a “typical American”—55% and 59%, respectively.

4. Pan-Ethnicity: Shared Values among Latinos

The 2013 National Survey of Latinos explored pan-ethnicity among Latinos by asking about how much Latinos in the U.S. share values in common but also asking U.S. Latinos how much they have in common with people in the home countries of their ancestors.

How Much Do U.S. Latinos Share Values?

Views of Shared Values among U.S. Hispanics, by Hispanic Origin GroupOverall, 39% of survey respondents say Latinos from different countries in the U.S. have “a lot in common.” An equal share (39%) say U.S. Latinos share “some” values, and about one-in-five  say U.S. Latinos have “only a little” (15%) or “almost nothing” (5%) in common.

Views of shared values among U.S. Hispanics vary across Hispanic origin groups. Half (51%) of Salvadoran-origin Hispanics say U.S. Hispanics from different countries have a lot in common with Salvadorans living in the U.S. Among Dominicans, 44% say U.S. Hispanics from different countries share values with Dominicans in the U.S. Some 40% of Cubans and 38% of Mexicans also say the same about the commonalities of U.S. Hispanics. Among Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin, 36% say that U.S. Hispanics have a lot in common with Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Views of Shared Values Among U.S. HispanicsHispanics in some origin groups are more likely than others to say U.S. Hispanics from different countries have some values in common. Among Puerto Ricans, 46% say U.S. Hispanics from different countries share some values with Puerto Ricans. Among Mexicans, 41% express the same view about shared values between other Hispanics and Mexicans.

But not all Hispanics see shared values among the nation’s Hispanic origin groups. For example, one-in-four (24%) Cubans say other Hispanics and Cubans in the U.S. have only a little (13%) or almost nothing (11%) in common. Some 22% of Salvadorans say the same about shared values between other Hispanics and Salvadorans in the U.S. And among other Central American Hispanics, that share is 27%.

Views of shared values among U.S. Hispanics also vary by demographic subgroups among the Hispanic population. For example, foreign-born Hispanics are more likely than native-born Hispanics to say U.S. Hispanics from different countries have a lot in common—43% versus 33%, respectively.

And among the foreign born, views of how much is shared in common among U.S. Hispanics are higher the longer an immigrant has lived in the country. Among Hispanic immigrants who have been in the U.S. for five years or less, 35% say U.S. Hispanics from different countries have a lot in common. By contrast, among Hispanic immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years, 45% say the same. Looked at another way, 28% of Hispanic immigrants who have been in the U.S. for five years or less say U.S. Hispanics from different countries have only a little or almost nothing in common. Among Hispanic immigrants who have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years, that share is 18%.

Language is also linked to views of shared values among U.S. Hispanics. For example, Spanish-dominant Hispanics are more likely than English-dominant Hispanics to say U.S. Hispanics from different countries share a lot of values—46% versus 32%. But nearly half (48%) of English-dominant Hispanics say U.S. Hispanics share some values. Among Spanish-dominant Hispanics, 31% say the same.

How Much Do U.S. Latinos Share Values in Common with People Living in Latin America?

Views of Shared Values Between U.S. Hispanics and the Home Country, by Hispanic Origin GroupThe Pew Research survey asked respondents about their views of shared values between U.S. Latinos and those living in their ancestral home countries.

Overall, 38% of Hispanics say U.S. Hispanics and people in the country of their ancestors have “a lot” of shared values. An additional 34% say the two groups have some values in common. However, one-quarter (25%) of U.S. Hispanics say they have “only a little” (18%) or “almost nothing” (7%) in common with those in the countries of their ancestors.

Views of Shared Values Between U.S. Hispanics and the Home CountryViews of shared values between U.S. Hispanics and those in the home countries vary by Hispanic origin group. Among Salvadorans, 56% say Salvadoran-origin Hispanics in the U.S. share a lot of values with people in El Salvador. Overall, Salvadorans have the highest foreign-born share (60%) among the five largest Hispanic origin groups in the U.S. (Lopez, Gonzalez-Barrera and Cuddington, 2013). However, not all Salvadorans agree as strongly. Two-in-ten (20%) say that U.S. Hispanics of Salvadoran origin have some values in common with those in El Salvador. And about a quarter say that Salvadorans in the U.S. have only a little (16%) or almost nothing (6%) in common with those in El Salvador.

Views about shared values with the home country are different among U.S. Hispanics of Cuban origin. Among them, while 36% say Cubans in the U.S. have a lot of values in common with those in Cuba, just as many say Cubans in the U.S. have only a little (18%) or almost nothing (17%) in common with those in Cuba.

Among Mexicans, the largest Hispanic origin group in the U.S., 37% say Mexican origin Hispanics in the U.S. share a lot of values with those in Mexico, 35% say Mexicans in the U.S. share some values with those in Mexico, and one-quarter (26%) of Mexicans say Mexicans in the U.S. share only a little (20%) or almost nothing (6%) with those in Mexico. The survey finds similar views among Puerto Ricans and Dominicans about shared values between those in the U.S. and those in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic.

Views of shared values between U.S. Hispanics and those in the home countries also vary among demographic subgroups of Hispanics. About half (47%) of foreign-born Hispanics see “a lot” in common between U.S. Hispanics and those in the home country. Among native-born Hispanics, that share is just 26%. Looked at another way, 30% of native-born Hispanics say U.S. Hispanics have only a little (23%) or almost nothing (7%) in common with those in the home country. Among immigrant Hispanics, that share is 22%.

Among Hispanic immigrants in the U.S., views about shared values with the home country differ by time in the U.S. Among recent arrivals (those in the U.S. for five years or less), 35% say U.S. Hispanics have only a little or almost nothing in common with those in the home countries. Among Hispanic immigrants who have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years, 22% say the same.

Spanish-dominant Latinos are most likely to see common values between U.S. Latinos and those in the home country. Half (50%) say the two groups have a lot in common. Among bilingual Latinos, 35% say the same. But among English-dominant Latinos, that share falls to 25%.

Young Hispanics are less likely than Hispanics ages 30 and older to say U.S. Hispanics have a lot in common with people in their family’s ancestral home countries. About one-third (31%) of Hispanics ages 18 to 29 see a lot in common, compared with about four-in-ten (42%) among Latinos ages 30 or older.

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Lopez, Mark Hugo, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Danielle Cuddington. 2013. “Diverse Origins: The Nation’s 14 Largest Hispanic-Origin Groups.” Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, June.

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Taylor, Paul, Mark Hugo Lopez, Jessica Martínez and Gabriel Velasco. 2012. “When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity.” Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, April.

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Appendix A: Survey Methodology

Results for this study are based on telephone interviews conducted by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS), an independent research company, among a nationally representative sample of 5,103 Latino respondents ages 18 and older. It was conducted on cellular and landline telephones from May 24 through July 28, 2013. The survey covers a range of topics including Hispanics’ religious affiliation and behaviors, views of Hispanic identity, and views about social issues. The survey used a stratified sampling design, oversampling areas with higher densities of Latino residents and oversampling areas with a higher concentration of Latinos with a non-Mexican heritage. The survey also included an oversample of non-Catholic Latinos. Several stages of statistical adjustment or weighting were used to account for the complex nature of the sample design, including a correction for oversampling and other differences in the probability of selection as well as sample balancing to population totals for the U.S. Hispanic adult population.

For the full sample, a total of 1,871 respondents were native born (excluding Puerto Rico), and 3,232 were foreign born (including Puerto Rico). Also 2,346 were of Mexican origin, 659 were Puerto Rican, 349 were Cuban, 271 were Salvadoran, and 338 were Dominican. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

2013 Hispanic Survey Details

For this survey, SSRS used a staff of Spanish-speaking interviewers who, when contacting a household, were able to offer respondents the option of completing the survey in Spanish or English. A total of 2,725 respondents (53%) were surveyed in Spanish, and 2,378 respondents (47%) were interviewed in English. Any person ages 18 or older of who said they are of Latino origin or descent was eligible to complete the survey.

To ensure the highest possible coverage of the eligible population, the study employed a dual-frame landline/cellular telephone design. The sample consisted of a landline sampling frame (yielding 2,698 completed interviews) and a cell phone sampling frame (2,405 interviews).4 Both the landline and cell phone sampling frames used a stratified sampling design, oversampling areas with higher densities of Latino residents. The same sampling plan was used for the main sample and the non-Catholic oversample.

For the landline sampling frame, the sample was compared with InfoUSA and other household databases, and phone numbers associated with households that included persons with known Latino surnames were subdivided into a Surname stratum. The remaining unmatched and unlisted landline sample was divided into the following mutually exclusive strata, based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates of the density of the Hispanic population in each: Very High, High and Medium Latino.5 These strata were then further subdivided into Low Mexican and High Mexican strata.

The Marketing System Group (MSG) GENESYS sample generation system was used to generate cell phone sample, which was divided into High and Medium Latino strata. These were further divided into Low Mexican and High Mexican strata.

Samples for the low-incidence landline and low-incidence cell strata were drawn from previously interviewed respondents in SSRS’s weekly dual-frame Excel omnibus survey. Respondents who indicated they were Latino on the omnibus survey were eligible to be re-contacted for the present survey. In addition, the incidences in the Medium landline and cell phone strata were lower than anticipated, so additional interviews with Latinos prescreened from the Excel omnibus survey were used to gather additional interviews in these strata. This resulted in a total of two additional strata for both the landline and cell phone sampling frames. The number of interviews completed in each stratum is shown in the table below.

It is important to note that the existence of a surname stratum does not mean the survey was a surname sample design. The sample is RDD, with the randomly selected telephone numbers divided by whether or not they were found to be associated with a Spanish surname. This was done simply to increase the number of strata and thereby increase the ability to meet ethnic targets and ease administration by allowing for more effective assignment of interviewers and labor hours.

Interviews by Strata

A multi-stage weighting procedure was used to ensure an accurate representation of the national Hispanic population.

  • An adjustment was made for all persons found to possess both a landline and a cell phone, as they were twice as likely to be sampled as were respondents who possessed only one phone type.
  • The sample was corrected for a potential bias associated with re-contacting previously interviewed respondents in certain strata.
  • The sample was corrected for the likelihood of within-household selection, which depended upon the likelihood that the respondent’s age group would be selected, and within that age group, the particular respondent would be selected.
  • The sample was corrected for the oversampling of telephone number exchanges known to have higher densities of Latinos and the corresponding undersampling of exchanges known to have lower densities of Latinos.
  • Finally, the data were put through a post-stratification sample balancing routine to population totals for the U.S. Hispanic adult population based on the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, March Supplement. Iterative proportional fitting, or raking, was completed for the following parameters: age by state (California, Florida, New York, Texas and all other states combined), gender by state, heritage by state, education by state, U.S. born or years in the U.S. by state, Census region, phone use (i.e., cell phone only, cell phone mostly, mixed/landline only/landline mostly) and density of the Latino population.
  • Both the base weights and the post-stratification weights were trimmed to range from 0.10 to 5.0.

The data were weighted in two steps. In the first step, it was weighted to resemble the population distribution of the U.S. Hispanic adult population. In the second step, the weighted data were used to determine the benchmark for a Catholic/non-Catholic parameter, which was used in adjustments to weights for the oversample of non-Catholic Latinos.

  1. According to calculations by the National Center for Health Statistics National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), from July to December 2011, 43.3% of Hispanic adults were living in wireless-only households and 17.0% were in wireless-mostly households (Blumberg and Luke, 2013).
  2. Due to lower than expected incidence in some landline strata, the sampling frame was changed early in the field period; the change subdivided the high Latino strata into high and very high strata, as was done in sampling designs of earlier Pew Research Center National Surveys of Latinos.

 

A Note on Terminology

The terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.

“Native born” or “U.S. born” refers to persons born in the United States and those born in other countries to parents at least one of whom was a U.S. citizen.

“Foreign born” refers to persons born outside of the United States to parents neither of whom was a U.S. citizen. Foreign born also refers to those born in Puerto Rico. Although individuals born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth, they are included among the foreign born because they are born into a Spanish-dominant culture and because on many points their attitudes, views and beliefs are much closer to Hispanics born abroad than to Hispanics born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

“First generation” refers to foreign-born people. The terms “foreign born,” “first generation” and “immigrant” are used interchangeably in this report.

“Second generation” refers to people born in the United States, with at least one first-generation parent.

“Third and higher generation” refers to people born in the United States, with both parents born in the United States. This report uses the term “third generation” as shorthand for “third and higher generation.”

Language dominance, or primary language, is a composite measure based on self-described assessments of speaking and reading abilities. “Spanish-dominant” persons are more proficient in Spanish than in English, i.e., they speak and read Spanish “very well” or “pretty well” but rate their English-speaking and -reading ability lower. “Bilingual” refers to persons who are proficient in both English and Spanish. “English-dominant” persons are more proficient in English than in Spanish.

  1. The survey also found that the named leaders come from sectors other than elected office. Among others mentioned by survey respondents are Univision Noticiero news anchor Jorge Ramos, Pope Francis and actress Eva Longoria. President Barack Obama was also mentioned.
  2. Hispanics are the only ethnic group to be singled out by a federal law (Public Law 94-311) requiring the federal government’s agencies to categorize and collect data on Hispanics as a group (Rumbaut, 2006).

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