Most Latino Adults Have Not Heard of the Term Latinx, New Poll Finds

In 2018, the term Latinx was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary defining the word as a gender-inclusive term and an alternative to “Hispanic” or “Latino” used by people of Latin American descent who “do not identify as being of the male or female gender or who simply don’t want to be identified by gender.”

While the term has recently gained popularity among younger Latinos, embraced by a handful of Latin artists like Becky G and Lauren Jauregui and used by some political figures like Julian Castro and Elizabeth Warren when referring to the Latino/Hispanic community, a Pew Research Center poll finds that only 23% of U.S. adults who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino have heard of the term Latinx and just 3% say they use it to describe themselves.

According to the bilingual survey, conducted in December 2019, Latinos ages 18-29 were the most likely to have heard of Latinx, at 42%. Those who registered the lowest levels of awareness were Spanish-dominant, foreign-born, respondents who identify as Republicans and those with a high school diploma or less.

Furthermore, 33% out of those who have heard the term said it should be used to describe the Hispanic or Latino population, while 65% said it should not be used. Critics of the term have pointed out that the term “anglicizes” the Spanish language and it ignores its gendered form.

Researchers also found that people in the United States still prefer to self-identify as “Hispanic” (61%) followed by “Latino” (29%) or their country of origin.

Pew interviewed 3,030 U.S. Hispanic or Latino adults, ages 18 to 65 and older. See the full report here