Paisas can be found in other regions of Colombia and the Americas where they have migrated. They can be identiied by the way they speak Spanish. Some writers refer to it as "español antioqueño".
The paisas have been considered as a genetically isolated population according with researches. They are predominantly European ancestry because it is believed that Spaniards who settled the region during the 16th and 17th centuries came with their wives. The mountains further contributed to isolate the population until the end of the 19th century.
Early immigration from Spain included people from areas such as Extremadura, Andalusia, the Basque Region, and Cantonia. Some scholars agree that the presence of Sephardic Jews in the ancestry of Paisas.
The fictional character Juan Valdez is a paisa stereotype.