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You've probably heard a lot about "the Latino voter" or the way companies are trying to win over "the Latino consumer."
It's a cliché to point out that Latinos, like every other ethnic group, are not monolithic. But let's say it one more time, anyway: Latinos are not monolithic.
That's underscored by a new major poll of nearly 1,500 Latino Americans by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. The poll, like our previous poll of African-Americans, covered several aspects of people's lives — religious beliefs, personal finances, health status, education and more. It featured enough respondents that we could break them out into a few key groups by ethnic ancestry: Cubans, Dominicans, South Americans, Central Americans, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans. We were also able to contrast responses from folks who were immigrants with those who were born in the United States.
Of course, there are some themes in common: Respondents from every group were most likely to say that the economy and crime and violence were the biggest issues facing the places they lived. And more than 4 in 10 Latinos said in those places, all or most of those people were also Latino. (More people from each group expressed no preference on whether they preferred to be called "Latino" or "Hispanic" compared with one or the other preference.)
But what's most interesting is some of the characteristics unique to each group, and the variations and striations that exist within groups of respondents.
All this week, we'll be airing and publishing stories that delve into different aspects of different experiences the poll illuminated. To whet your appetite, here are some intriguing findings from the poll overall: