The Federal Government’s definition of a Hispanic or Latino individual is essentially a Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Central or South American, and Spanish person belonging to the Spanish culture regardless of their race (Ramirez, 2004). The Hispanic population has gradually been increasing among the contemporary American population. In the 2000 census Hispanic were 35.2 million, which accounted for 12.5% of the total population (Ramirez, 2004). The Hispanic population in general is subjected to numerous socio-economic and political due to their constantly changing demographics.
According to the United States census bureau the Cuban population represents 3.5% of the total American Hispanic population going by the 2000 American census report (Ramirez, 2004). Political participation among Cubans has been subject to a lot of legislative control. However, through constant strategic mechanisms participation has largely been increased. “The Cuban American National Foundation and the Cuban Committee for Democracy, for example, founded in 1980 and 1994, respectively as vehicles through which Cuban Americans have tried to shape US foreign policy towards Cuba” (Garcia, 1996). In terms of socio-economic standings, Cubans appear to be doing relatively well. According to the US Bureau census report, 57.6% owned a house while a further 42.4% lived in rental households (Ramirez, 2004). This represents a significant figure going by their increased participation in major economic forums and an increased social integration.
“In 2000, people of Mexican origin were the largest Hispanic group in the United States, representing 59% of the country’s total Hispanic population” (Ramirez, 2004). The Mexican American groups have increasingly portrayed interest in the American political scenery going by recent studies carried out. However, there still exist bottlenecks preventing them from enjoying 100% guarantee participation in the political arena. The Hispanic population is still young hence ineligible to participate in voting due to the fact that most Mexicans who came to the US from 1980 – 1990s had a young age (Kaufman, 2007). The fact that Mexicans are among the largest number in the Hispanic population, their subsequent contribution to the American economy is significant. Data from the 2000 US Bureau show reveals less levels of poverty among other population groups. They represent the biggest growing number of entrepreneurs focusing on small-scale business initiatives.
The Puerto Rican American population has recorder increasing over the past few years in the American land. In the 2000, American census in it was revealed that the entire Puerto Rican population consisted of 9.7% of the total representative Hispanic population (Ramirez, 2004). Puerto Ricans’ participation in the political arena has been subjected to controversial manipulations by state authorities. A number of Puerto Ricans have attempted participating in some of the mayoral seat elections. A good number of Puerto Ricans enjoy significant access to social amenities in various state provinces. For instance, US Bureau data shows that 65.6% rent households while 34.4% own households (Ramirez, 2004). Looking at the poverty indices focusing on the different age groups show the following: 25.8% of all Puerto Ricans live in poverty, 32.9% of all under 18 years persons live in poverty, and a further 24.4% also live in poverty (Ramirez, 2004). There is also evidence showing that Puerto Ricans also increasingly becoming involved in economic activities especially in some of the American suburbs.
The Central American Hispanic population group represents a group, which has not been very much noticeable according to recent studies. However, after carrying out various opinion polls leading to the subsequent inclusion during the 2000 American census. As a result, data from the 2000 American census reveals that the population currently consists of 4.0% of the total Hispanic representative population (Ramirez, 2004). According to a study, the Central American and Mexican Hispanics have been referred to as second generation due to the age factor since most of them had an age of 11 years in 2004 (Kaufman, 2007). The socio-economic status of the Central Americans shows significant variation from other groups. For instance, data from the US Census Bureau shows varying percentages of poverty going by different age groups as follows: 17.1% under age of 18, 16.4% for age 65 and older, while 15.0% for all age groups (Ramirez, 2004). Some of the issues are mainly as a result of limited access to social amenities and most of the members above 18 years of age have less access to employment opportunities.
Emerging Similarities, Differences, and Political Parties Actions
There are many similarities seen in the constitutive Hispanic groups shown by the variables from political participation, demographic data, and socio-economic associations. Majority of the similarities emerge from the lifestyle patterns, economic activities pursued, and education levels. However, there are very few emerging differences portrayed from the data above. The eligibility of majority of Hispanics to vote much less since 25% are ineligible since they are not US citizens. The formation of organizations such as National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEAO) has widely fronted for an increased participation of Hispanics in the electoral processes and political parties formulation. This led to a significant improvement seen in the form of participation. For instance, prior to the 2004 election major efforts were incorporated to allow Hispanic Americans to vote leading to an increased voting rate (Kaufman, 2007). It is therefore evident that political parties in anticipation of an increased Hispanic population are showing interest in recruiting Hispanic aspirants.