Latino () is a term often used in the United States to refer to people with cultural ties to Latin America, in contrast to Hispanic which is a demonym that includes Spaniards and other speakers of the Spanish language."Latino" as a category used in the United States may be understood as a shorthand for the Spanish word latinoamericano (Latin American in English) or the Portuguese phrase latino americano, thus excluding speakers of Spanish or Portuguese from Europe. Both Hispanic and Latino are generally used to denote people living in the United States, so much so that "Outside the United States, we don't speak of Latinos; we speak of Mexicans, Colombians, Peruvians, and so forth." In Latin America, the term latino is not a common endonym and its usage in Spanish as a demonym is restricted to the Latin American-descended population of the United States.
The U.S. government's Office of Management and Budget has defined Hispanic or Latino people as being those who "trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central, and South America (other than Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname), and other Spanish cultures". The United States Census uses the ethnonym Hispanic or Latino to refer to "a person of Dominican, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race". The Census Bureau also explains that "[o]rigin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race." Hence the U.S. Census and the OMB are using the terms differently. The U.S. Census and the OMB use the terms interchangeably, where both terms are synonyms. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, the majority (51%) of Hispanic and Latino Americans prefer to identify with their families' country of origin, while only 24% prefer the term Hispanic or Latino.The AP Stylebook's recommended usage of Latino in Latin America includes not only persons of Spanish-speaking ancestry, but also more generally includes persons "from – or whose ancestors were from – ... Latin America, including Brazilians". However, in the recent past, the term Latinos was also applied to people from the Caribbean region, but those from former Dutch and British colonies are excluded.