Difference Between Mexican and Hispanic

Main Difference – Mexican vs. Spanish

Some people often use the two terms Mexicans and Hispanics interchangeably to refer to people with Latin American descent. However, if used incorrectly, this usage can cause insult or offense. Therefore, it is very important to know the difference between Mexican and Hispanic, before using these two terms. The main difference between Mexican and Hispanic is that Mexican is a nationality whereas Hispanic is an ethnonym. Mexicans are the natives or inhabitants of Mexico. Hispanics are the Spanish speaking people, especially those of Latin American descent, living in the United States.

What Does Mexican mean

Mexican refers to a person, thing or concept from Mexico, a country in Latin America. As a noun, Mexican refers to an inhabitant or a citizen of Mexico. Though many people think that Mexican is a race, it should be considered as a nationality.

The main language spoken by Mexicans is Spanish. Spanish was introduced to Mexico after the Spanish invasion in 1521. However, some differences can be seen in the Spanish spoken in Spain and Spanish spoken in Mexico.

When talking about the ethnic groups in Mexico, the population of Mexico is mainly made up of Indigenous people ( Yucatán, Quintana Roo  Campeche, Chiapas etc.), Mexicans of European descent and Mestizo.(people of combined European and indigenous ancestry)Difference Between Mexican and Hispanic

What Does Hispanic Mean

Hispanic is a term that indicates a relation to Spain or to Spanish-speaking countries, especially those of Central and South America. As a noun, it is used to refer to Spanish speaking people, especially those of Latin American origins, living in the US. Therefore, Hispanic is an ethnonym, a name given to a specific ethnic group, not a race or a nationality.

The term Hispanic is derived from the Roman name Hispania, which referred to the Iberian Peninsula. Therefore, some people argue that Hispanic can be used to any person with a link to Spanish countries. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this term is mostly used to refer to those who live in the USA. The government of United States define Hispanic as “”persons who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America, and other Spanish cultures”. .” According to this definition, a Spanish person living in the USA could also be called a Hispanic.

However, in general usage, Hispanic refers to a Spanish- speaking person, especially from a Latin American country, living in the USA.Mexican vs Hispanic

What is the Difference Between Mexican and Spanish


Mexican is a nationality.

Hispanic is an ethnonym.


Mexican is a native or inhabitant of Mexico, a Latin American country.

Hispanic is a Spanish-speaking person, especially one of Latin American descent, living in the USA.


Spanish is the main language of Mexico, but this does not mean that all Mexicans speak Spanish.

All Hispanics speak Spanish.


The majority of Mexicans can trace their origins to indigenous people or Spaniards.

Hispanics can trace their origins to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America, and other Spanish cultures.


Mexicans (majority) live in Mexico.

Hispanics live in the United States.Difference Between Apart and A Part-INFOGRAPHIC

Image Courtesy:

“Tradicionalranchero”. via

“Map-Hispanic countries”. via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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