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You may think that cowboys are as American as apple pie, but cowboy culture came to the United States by way of Mexico. Buckaroo is the Americanized version of vaquero (vah-KER-oh), Spanish for "cowboy." The cowboy's lasso, chaps, and rodeo are also Mexican in origin.

Hispanic-Americans have made many contributions to U.S. culture. We celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15.

According to the 2000 Census, 35.3 million people in the U.S. identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. These terms refer to people whose ethnic or cultural origin is a Spanish-speaking country.

Hispanic-Americans represent 12.5 percent of the population. (Most come from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.) They are the nation's largest ethnic minority. African-Americans, at 12.3 percent, area close second.

This map shows the percentage of each state's total population that claims Hispanic or Latino ancestry. Study it, then answer the questions.


1. Which region has the most states with the largest percentage of Hispanic-Americans?

2. In which region are there no states with a Latino population that is larger than 12.4 percent?

3. On this map, what is the lowest percentage range of state population claiming Hispanic heritage?

4. On this map, states with the largest and smallest percentages of Hispanic-Americans are labeled. Which state has the largest percentage?

5. Which Western states have a Hispanic-American population that is under 5 percent of the total?

6. Does any state have no Hispanic-Americans?

7. A state with 15 percent of its population claiming Hispanic ancestry would appear in which color?

8. On this map, what do Maine and West Virginia have in common?

9. How does the Hispanic-American population of Washington, D.C., compare with that of its neighbors?

10. Why do you think the four states in red have the largest percentage of Hispanic-Americans?


1. the West (three states: California, Arizona, and New Mexico)

2. the Midwest

3. 0.7 to 4.9%

4. New Mexico (42.1%)

5. Alaska and Montana

6. no

7. orange

8. Both have the lowest percentage of Hispanic-Americans (0.7%).

9. Washington, D.C., has a slightly larger percentage of Hispanic-Americans than the surrounding states (D.C., 5.0 to 12.4%; surrounding states, 0.7 to 4.9%).

10. They are the closest to Mexico.
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Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 3, 2005
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