Difference Between Latino and Native American

The Americas, also called America, is the largest landmass in the western hemisphere. It includes continents named North America and South America.

The first human who settled in the Americas came from Asia around thirteen thousand years ago. Christopher Columbus was considered the first European to discover the American continent in 1492.

Due to the European colonization, the cultures of Latins got mixed with the indigenous people of America. Today both Latinos and Natives are the largest ethnic groups of the Americas.

South America is also called Latin America as it consists of twenty-one Latin American countries.

Latino vs Native American

The main difference between Latino and Native Americans is that Latinos are people who have a background or ancestry in a Latin American country. Whereas the term Native American is used for the first peoples or the initial population, who settled in the American continent.

Latino vs Native American

Latino Americans are the people of the American continent where Spanish, Portuguese, and French languages are officially spoken or used.

The term Latino came from the shortened version of the Spanish word Latinoamericano which specifically means Latino Americans.

Native Americans or American Indians are the authenticated people or population of America. They were the first people who originated from there before the European settlers founded the American continent.

The Native Americans were hunter-gatherers who lived in different tribes.

Comparison Table Between Latino and Native American

Parameters of ComparisonLatinoNative American
DefinitionThe people of Latin or Spanish ancestry who are living in the united states are called Latino Americans. The indigenous or native people of America are known as native Americans.
LanguageThe people belonging to this culture speak Portuguese, Spanish, and American English only. The people belonging to this culture speak Navajo but today most of them speak American English only.
ReligionThe majority of people who belong to this nationality believe in Catholicism or they practice as catholic Christians. These people do not believe in specific religions instead they believe in one god theory.
PopulationTogether the Latinos count 60.5 million in terms of population. Together they constitute a population of a total of 9.5 million.
AreaThe total area they comprise is around 19.2 million kilometers square. The total area they comprise is around 2.3 percent of the united states’ land area.

What is Latino?

The oldest definition of the term Latino is male Latin American inhabitant of the united state. Latinos form a group of ethnicities comprising a multiplicity of interrelated traditions and linguistic heritages.

Most Latinos are of Mexican, Cuban, and Columbian lineage or heritage.

Almost 18.7 percent of the United States population, which is sixty-two million, are Latinos. Most Latino Americans are of different origins.

Latino Americans were declared as the group having a major minority population in the year 2004, people who recognize as Latino may be of any race or a mix of it.

Latino Americans have made remarkable contributions to the united state in all important fields such as sports, military, politics, science, and literature.

To acknowledge the historical contributions of Latino Americans, President Ronald Reagan in 1998 designated the month of September as the national Latino heritage month.

What is Native American?

The original inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of European settlers are referred to as native or indigenous Americans. They had their customs and traditions.

Some of the well-known tribes were the Apache, Cherokee, Navajo, Iroquois, and the Cheyenne.

When the Europeans began to capture the Americas, they found lots of land and resources, so to get control of these land and resources, they started to group the native Americans.

The native Americans repelled, but the Europeans overpowered them and, the native Americans gave their land and resource to them.

Due to the years of wars and forced colonization, the number of native Americans decreased. Today there are 4.5 million Native Americans in the united states.

Around thirty percent of them live on the reservation lands which were given to them by the government to save their heritage and culture.

Main Differences Between Latino and Native American

  1. Latino Americans are people of Latin or Spanish ancestry who are living in the united states. On the other hand, Native Americans are known as indigenous or native people of American society.
  2. Native Americans used to speak Navajo as their official language, but today, most of them speak American English only. Whereas Latinos speak or consider Portuguese, Spanish, and American English as their official language.
  3. Native American people do not believe or follow any specific religions instead they believe in one god theory. While the majority of Latin Americans believe and follow Catholicism or practice as catholic Christians.
  4. The Native Americans comprise a total area of around 2.3 percent of the united states’ land area. Whereas the Latinos comprise a land area of around 19.2 million kilometers square, and the area is increasing as the population of Latin Americans is increasing.
  5. Together the Latinos count 60.5 million in terms of population, and it fluctuates daily as the population increases. While the Native Americans constitute a population of a total of 9.5 million, which means that they are less in population as compared to Latinos.
Difference Between Latino and Native American


According to a census, almost twenty-five percent of Latinos say that they consider themselves native Americans. This means that some Latino Americans could have native American ancestors.

Therefore a Latino American could also be a Native American or of any other origin.

Both native and Latino Americans have many cultural differences, the Latinos refer to a culture, not a race, while the natives are the people of a tribal nation or community, but both of them belong to the United States.

There is fluidity and overlap between being native and Latino. That is why we cannot differentiate them with noticeable differences like we can differ Catholics from protestants, orthodox from Catholics, and so on.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=d6jFQmqGU1IC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=latino&ots=ev8cB4zWlh&sig=y-KJqGF-gDQomu0W75ucrbSa8Dw
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ooRfL9us4GIC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=native+americans&ots=2zocFwNNsx&sig=gr0smANVDf9abZjphqxF0Tv8Lxc
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