since the sixteenth-century founding by the Spanish of Saint Augustine, Florida.After Native Americans, Hispanics are the oldest ethnic group to inhabit much of what is today the United States. Spain colonized large areas of what is today the American Southwest and West Coast, including present-day California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, all of which were under the Republic of Mexico after its independence in the 19th century and until the end of the Mexican–American War.
According to the Smithsonian Institution, the term "Latino" includes peoples with Portuguese roots, such as Brazilians, as well as those of Spanish-language origin. In the United States, many Hispanics and Latinos are mestizos (of mixed race European and Native American ancestry).
Others are of predominately European or American Indian ancestry.
Many Hispanics and Latinos from the Caribbean and other countries where slavery was widespread may also have some African ancestry. Census Bureau equates the two terms and defines them as referring to anyone from Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas.
Latin Americans, Spaniards, White Latin Americans, Criollos, American Indians, Afro-Latin Americans, Asian Latin Americans, Mestizos, Mulattoes, Pardos, Castizos, Tejanos, Chicanos, Nuyoricans, Portuguese Americans For the US census in 2010, American Community Survey, people counted as "Hispanic" or "Latino" are those who identify as one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the census or ACS questionnaire ("Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban") as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino." The national origins classified as Hispanic or Latino by the U. Census Bureau are the following: Spain, Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The Census Bureau uses the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably.
government agencies have slightly different definitions of the term, including Brazilians and other Portuguese-speaking groups.