Hispanic Americans accounted for approximately one in eight people in the United States as of the year 2000. About 32.8 million Hispanic Americans lived in the United States, which made up 12% of the United States population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). In 2007 these numbers had shown a significant increase. The population jumped from 32.8 million to 45.5 million after just seven years (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). Not only are Hispanic Americans the largest minority group in the United States, but they are also the fastest growing minority group out of all other race or ethnic groups.
Mexican AmericansMexican Americans in the United States trace their ancestry to Mexico. They make up one of the largest Hispanic American groups in the United States. Majority of the Mexican American population are of Spanish descent. Spanish is also their first language. About seventy percent of Mexican Americans are bilingual and speak both Spanish and English, although there are some who only speak their first language of Spanish (MSN Encarta, 2008).
English is typically spoken in business and educational atmospheres. The term spanglish has been used to describe the amount of influence the English language has had on traditional Mexican Spanish.
Approximately ninety percent of Mexican Americans are said to have come to live in the United States as a result of emigration from impoverished rural areas of Northern Mexico during the twentieth century. The remaining ten percent trace their ancestry back to the 17th and 18th century colonists that settled Mexican territories that are now known as part of the Southwestern United States. California, Texas, and New Mexico are a few of these territories. Most Mexican Americans still live primarily within these Southwestern States. Some have also established relatively large Mexican American communities within urban cities like Chicago and New York City.