Is Iberian Hispanic?

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Did you do a DNA test and saw something called “Iberian Peninsula” on your DNA results?  Does this mean that you are Hispanic?

What does Hispanic mean?  Is Iberian Peninsula Hispanic?

The simple answer is that technically, according to the commonly accepted definition of Hispanic, yes.  Iberian can often mean Hispanic.

The definition of Hispanic:

  1.  Something that is related to Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries (adjective)  OR
  2. Someone who speaks Spanish and lives in the United States – often used to describe someone of Latin American descent (noun)

Many people who fit the description above and are descendants Latin American Spanish-speaking countries prefer to be referred to as Latino/a – it’s important to note this, as I don’t want this article to come across as offensive to anyone.

So What Does It Mean to Be Iberian?

If you have Iberian in Your DNA, then it is likely that, at some point in history, you have ancestors that came from the Iberian Peninsula.  How far back?  It depends on your family history.  You could have really small amounts from lots of different ancestors really far back, or you could have larger amounts from a couple (or just one!) ancestor just a few generations back.

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(Read this article for more information about the Iberian Peninsula DNA and how it might have gotten into your DNA!)

People who have at least one parent who was born in, or descends from, a Latin American country (think South America, Central America, and Mexico) are very likely to have at least a small amount of Iberian Peninsula show up in their DNA results.

It is also important to remember that a very large part of the United States was part of Mexico/Spain for centuries, and many people who live in that part of the country are descended from those people whose families have always lived there and many mixed with Spanish (from Spain) colonizers at some point.  All of southwest US states were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, basically the Spanish empire, for about 300 years.

Southwest US Indigenous Community

Can you be Latino and not Iberian?

This is a great question.  My husband was actually born in Mexico.  He shows only 1% Iberian DNA, which surprised me very much.  I know another person whose father is Mexican, and she has only 3% Iberian peninsula DNA.  This leads me to assume that you can most definitely be Latino and not Iberian.  There has been immigration to Latin American countries from all over the world, including from many European countries that are NOT Spain or Portugal.

Can I be Iberian and not Latino?

If you have Iberian DNA show up in your ethnicity, does it mean that you have Latino ancestors? Not necessarily!  There are many explanations as to why you might have Iberian DNA.  To answer this question more completely, you will have to start building your family tree, using your DNA results as a guide.  Make sure that your family tree matches your DNA results.


This has been a basic explanation of the meaning of Iberian/Hispanic.  I have a lot more in-depth information on this site, so take a look around 🙂

If you have any questions or comments, please leave me a comment!  Thank you for stopping by.