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Latinos feel strongly American, Survey Says

According to the recently released, Latino National Survey, American Latinos have a growing sense of pan-ethnic identity in addition to their sense of being Americans, overwhelmingly want to learn English but also want to pass Spanish to the next generation, and tend to assimilate rapidly into American culture.

Four years in the making, the Latino National Survey was conducted by bilingual interviewers between November 2005 and August 2006 in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The 165-item survey polled more than 8,600 Latinos in the U.S. general population -- not just citizens or voters. Key findings from the survey were presented December 7 at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

In terms of identity, a large majority of Puerto Rican Americans, for example, feel they are Americans, Puerto Ricans and Latinos all at the same time. Most Mexican Americans, the survey found, feel a similar sense of being Americans, Mexicans and Latinos simultaneously, which is remarkable given how many Mexican Americans were born in Mexico, according to one of the principal investigators.

Additional information on the Latino National Survey, including the questionnaire and demographic tables, is available on the Web site of the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality.

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