According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic is not a race, and Hispanic people can be of any race. The bureau considers the term "Hispanic" to refer to the lineage, heritage, nationality or country of birth of a person or her parents or ancestors.
On the U.S. Census, Hispanic people have the option of choosing from five different categories: Cuban, Chicano or Puerto Rican, Mexican, Mexican American, and other Hispanic, Latin or Spanish origin. As of 2012, about 53 million Hispanics call the United States home, making up about 17 percent of the country’s population. They comprise the fastest-growing ethnicity in America.