On November 1, 2019, we published a blog on Medium exploring the wide range of ethnicities by which Hispanics identify. Among them was the controversial term “Latinx.” That post quickly became the most read blog in our company’s nine-year history and went on to be cited by the Washington Post, New York Times, The Atlantic, and many other publications. The media attention garnered both praise and criticism from readers, some of whom didn’t agree with the outcome of the study so they questioned our methodology despite our accurate sample frame and weighting tactics. Given the overwhelming response to our research, we decided to do a follow-up with double the base size – 1,000 respondents this time – and added an LGBTQ over sample.
The goal of our updated report discussing these new findings is to provide companies, brands, and politicians deeper insight into how U.S. Latinos prefer to describe their ethnicity.
Below are some key takeaways:
Doubling the base size from 500 to 1,000 respondents had little to no impact on the results of this preference question.
Which of these names do you prefer to describe your ethnicity?
The research again showed that “Hispanic” is ranks highest among Hispanics, followed by “Latino/Latina.” “Latinx,” on the other hand, has ranked last in both of our surveys.
Another valid concern regarding our October Latinx study was the representation of LGBTQ respondents as the term “Latinx” was, in part, coined to address the gendered nature of terms like “Latina/Latino.” To address this methodological concern, we included an oversample of 11% (114 respondents) who identify as LGBTQ. Furthermore, we included a sample of 360 respondents who are not LGBTQ themselves but know others who are. “Hispanic” is preferred, while “Latinx” barely registers.
The assumption that college-educated Hispanics or younger Hispanics prefer the term “Latinx” is not supported in the data. Across all cohorts, preference for “Hispanic” rises to the top and preference for “Latinx” remains consistent, never rising about the 3% mark.
We asked respondents to indicate how they feel about the term “Latinx.” Below are the results:
Almost 60% of respondents either don’t like the term very much or find it offensive.
The results are clear. Hispanics, overall, prefer to be referred to as “Hispanics” or “Latinos.” While the origins of “Latinx” are noble and signal a more inclusive mindset, companies, brands, and politicians looking to connect with Hispanics should consider this research before attempting to win over Hispanic consumers and voters. Even the best intentions will fall flat if you are out of touch with your audience.
|% Foreign Born||40%|
|% Mexican Origin||63%|
|Median Annual HH Income||$ 45,000|
|Language spoken at home:|