U.S. Department of Commerce


Skip top of page navigation
Facts for Features
March 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the legendary Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, in which a Mexican force of 4,500 men faced 6,000 well-trained French soldiers. The battle lasted four hours and ended in a victory for the Mexican army under Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza. Along with Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16, Cinco de Mayo has become a time to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture.

28.3 million

Number of U.S. residents of Mexican origin in 2006. These residents constituted 9 percent of the nation's total population and 64 percent of the Hispanic population.

17.86 million

Number of people of Mexican origin who lived either in California (10.84 million) or Texas (7.02 million). People of Mexican origin made up more than one-quarter of the residents of these two states. (The unrounded total for California and Texas combined is 17,866,191.)


Median age of people in the United States of Mexican descent. This compares with 36.4 years for the population as a whole.


Number of Mexican-Americans who are U.S. military veterans.

1.2 million

Number of people of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher. This includes about 350,000 who have a graduate degree.


Among households where a householder was of Mexican origin, the percentage of married-couple families with own children younger than 18. For all households, the corresponding percentage was 22 percent.


Average size for families with a householder of Mexican origin. This compares to 3.2 people in all families.


Percentage of employed civilians 16 and older of Mexican heritage who worked in managerial, professional or related occupations. In addition, 23 percent worked in service occupations; 20 percent in sales and office occupations; 19 percent in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations; and 20 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations.


Median household income in 2006 for households with a householder of Mexican origin.


Poverty rate in 2006 for people of Mexican heritage.


Percentage of civilians 16 and older of Mexican origin in the labor force. The percentage was 65 percent for the population as a whole. There were 13 million people of Mexican heritage in the labor force, comprising 9 percent of the total.


Percentage of householders of Mexican origin who owned the home in which they lived.

Source for the preceding statements: 2006 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Trade With Mexico

$347.3 billion

The value of goods traded between the United States and Mexico in 2007. Mexico was our nation's third-leading trading partner, after Canada and China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/>



Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002. They comprised almost 45 percent of all Hispanic-owned firms. Among these Mexican-owned firms, 275,896 were in California and 235,735 in Texas. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif., combined statistical area had 174,292.

$96.7 billion

Sales and receipts for firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002.

Source for statements in this section: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2002 <http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/sb0200cshisp.pdf>

Mexican Food

$100.4 million

Product shipment value of tamales and other Mexican food specialties (not frozen or canned) produced in the United States in 2002.
Source: 2002 Economic Census <http://www.census.gov/econ/census02/guide/INDRPT31.HTM>


Number of U.S. tortilla manufacturing establishments in 2005. The establishments that produce this unleavened flat bread employed nearly 14,000 people. Tortillas, the principal food of the Aztecs, are known as the "bread of Mexico." About one in three of these establishments was in Texas.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2005 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb07-78.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau's Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl XLII (Feb. 3)
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day (May 11)
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day (June 15)
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day (Sept. 1)
  • Grandparents Day (Sept. 7)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week (Sept. 21-27)
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27)
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014