Are Spaniards Hispanic?

Is the term “Hispanic” limited to people with Latin American roots? Or does it also include people of Spanish (but not Latin American) origin?

According to Merriam-Webster, it only includes Latin Americans:

Main Entry: His·pan·ic
Pronunciation: hi-'spa-nik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin hispanicus, from Hispania Iberian Peninsula, Spain
Date: circa 1889
: of, relating to, or being a person of Latin American descent living in the U.S.; especially : one of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin

This site, however, extends the term to any Spanish speakers:

His·pan·ic adj.
Of or relating to Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin America.
Of or relating to a Spanish-speaking people or culture.

A Spanish-speaking person.
A U.S. citizen or resident of Latin-American or Spanish descent.

[Latin Hispanicus, from Hispania Spain.]

Usage Note: Though often used interchangeably in American English, Hispanic and Latino are not identical terms, and in certain contexts the choice between them can be significant. Hispanic, from the Latin word for “Spain,” has the broader reference, potentially encompassing all Spanish-speaking peoples in both hemispheres and emphasizing the common denominator of language among communities that sometimes have little else in common. Latino which in Spanish means “Latin” but which as an English word is probably a shortening of the Spanish word latinoamericano refers more exclusively to persons or communities of Latin American origin. Of the two, only Hispanic can be used in referring to Spain and its history and culture; a native of Spain residing in the United States is a Hispanic, not a Latino, and one cannot substitute Latino in the phrase the Hispanic influence on native Mexican cultures without garbling the meaning. . . For a certain segment of the Spanish-speaking population, Latino is a term of ethnic pride and Hispanic a label that borders on the offensive. According to this view, Hispanic lacks the authenticity and cultural resonance of Latino, with its Spanish sound and its ability to show the feminine form Latina when used of women.

In Chicago, the Mexicans I know will refer to themselves as HISPANIC while the Puerto Ricans and Cubans I know call themselves LATINOS.

I know some Brazillians (from Brazil) and they will call themselves LATINO but insist they are not HISPANIC)

I guess it’s similar to the black vs African American thing. It’s kind of a self identification.

Since Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish, they are certainly not hispanic. But since latino is basically short for latinoamericano, and Brazil is part of Latin America, they are correct in referring to themselves as such.

It was probably about 15 or 20 years ago, when I was filling out an application of some kind–I don’t remember if it was for graduate school or a job. At any rate, I had to put down my race, and it defined “Caucasian” as meaning one whose ancestors had come primarily from European countries, “except Spain”(!). Affirmative action was in force at the time, so I thought, "Oh great, if King Juan Carlos or Andres Segovia applies for this job too, then they get in ahead of me!

In 1990, if I am interpreting the info below correctly, the Census Bureau included persons from Spain in its definition of “of Hispanic origin.”

Persons of Hispanic origin are those who classified themselves in one of the specific Hispanic origin categories listed on the questionnaire–“Mexican,” “Puerto Rican,” or “Cuban”–as well as those who indicated that they were of “other Spanish/Hispanic” origin. Persons of “Other Spanish/Hispanic” origin are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, or the Dominican Republic, or they are persons of Hispanic origin identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on. Write-in responses to the “other Spanish/Hispanic” category were coded only for sample data.
(end quote, emphasis mine)

In New Mexico, the term “Hispanic” is used more often that “Latino.” Latino gives the impression that the person has immigrated from another country, while many of the “Hispanics” in New Mexico are native to the US. Some have families that have lived in this region since before the pilgrims landed. So while this used to be part of Mexico, the national boundaries have changed and the people have stayed put.