Some Hispanics identify by family's home country

Published April 4, 2012 7:54PM (EDT)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pew Hispanic Center finds that a majority of Hispanics prefer to identify themselves according to their families' countries of origin, rather than by the government's suggested terms "Hispanic" or "Latino."

The study released Wednesday finds that 51 percent of Hispanics are likely to say that they identify first as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban or another country to which they have family or ancestral ties. About a quarter say they identify as Latino or Hispanic and a fifth say American. About 50 million people in the U.S. are Hispanic.

The complexity of the Hispanic identity has drawn renewed interest following the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, who was African-American. The man who shot him, George Zimmerman, is the son of a white father and Hispanic mother originally from Peru.

By Salon Staff

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