Characteristics of Mexican and Caribbean Hispanics
The Hispanic presence in the United States arises from two distinct patterns: immigration from the Caribbean island nations; and Mexican Hispanics, many of whom settled in what is now the United States prior to the Mexican-American War, and most of whom are engaged in crossing borders that crossed them.
In the case of California, as Kevin Starr, state librarian and author of cultural histories of California, described the ascendance of Hispanics in that state, The Anglos hegemony was only an intermittent phase in Californias arc of identity, extending from the arrival of the Spanish. The Hispanic nature of California has been there all along, and it was temporarily swamped between the 1880s and the 1960s. But that was an aberration. This [Census 2000 report] is a reassertion of the intrinsic demographic DNA of the longer pattern, which is part of a California-Mexico continuum. The following descriptions of the two distinct characteristics of U.S. Hispanics are compiled from various sources.
The Mexican Hispanic
77% of U.S. Hispanics can trace their ancestry to Mexico.
These Hispanics are primarily of European (Spanish) and indigenous (Native American) ancestry.
Most have not graduated from college.
Most are not fully bilingual.
Most are hourly employees.
Most live west of the Mississippi, with clusters in New York, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina.
Racially, Mexican Hispanics are brown (mestizo).
The Caribbean Hispanic
17% of U.S. Hispanics can trace their ancestry to Puerto Rico, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic.
These Hispanics are primarily of European (Spain and Italy) and African ancestry.
Most have post-high school education (community college course) or college degrees.
Most are bilingual.
Many occupy salaried and management positions.
Most live east of the Mississippi, primarily in the New York/New JerseyFlorida corridor.
Racially, Caribbean Hispanics are black or white.
Louis E. V. Nevaer