Newsroom Archive

Facts for Features
March 18, 2010

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.

Source for the following statements: 2008 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Selected Population Profile in the United States: Mexican <>

30.7 million

Number of U.S. residents of Mexican origin in 2008. These residents constituted 10 percent of the nation's total population and 66 percent of the Hispanic population.


Percent of Mexican-origin people who are male.

19.04 million

Number of people of Mexican origin who lived either in California (11.26 million) or Texas (7.78 million). People of Mexican origin made up nearly one-third of the residents of these two states.


Median age of people in the United States of Mexican descent. This compares with 36.9 years for the population as a whole.


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

1.4 million

Number of people of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher. This includes about 395,000 who have a graduate or professional 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 21 percent.


Average size for families with a householder of Mexican origin. The average size of all families is 3.2 people.


Percentage of employed civilians 16 and older of Mexican heritage who worked in managerial, professional or related occupations. In addition, 25 percent worked in service occupations; 21 percent in sales and office occupations; 17 percent in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations; and 19 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations.


Median income in 2008 for households with a householder of Mexican origin. For the population as a whole, the corresponding amount was $52,029.


Poverty rate in 2008 for all people of Mexican heritage. For the population as a whole, the corresponding rate was 13 percent.


Percentage of civilians 16 and older of Mexican origin in the labor force. The percentage was 66 percent for the population as a whole. There were 14 million people of Mexican heritage in the labor force, comprising 9 percent of the total.


Percentage of householders of Mexican origin in occupied housing units who owned the home in which they lived. This compares with 67 percent for the population as a whole.

11.3 million, or 37%

Number and percentage of Mexican-origin people who are foreign-born; 2.5 million of them are naturalized citizens. Among the population as a whole, 12 percent are foreign-born.


Percentage of Mexican-origin people who speak a language other than English at home; among these people, 38 percent speak English less than “very well.” Among the population as a whole, the corresponding figures were 20 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Trade With Mexico

$305.5 billion

The value of total goods traded between the United States and Mexico in 2009. Mexico was our nation's third-leading trading partner, after Canada and China. The leading U.S. export commodity to Mexico in 2009 was light oils and preparations (not crude) from petroleum and bituminous materials ($4 billion); the leading U.S. import commodity from Mexico in 2009 was crude oil from petroleum ($22.12 billion).
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <> and <>


Source for statements in this section: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2002


Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002. They accounted for more than 44 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.


Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in the construction sector in 2002, which led all sectors.

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 <>

$48.9 million

Product shipment value of frozen enchiladas produced in the United States in 2002. Frozen tortilla shipments were valued even higher, at $156 million.
Source: 2002 Economic Census <>


Number of U.S. tortilla manufacturing establishments in 2007. The establishments that produce this unleavened flat bread employed 15,160 people. Tortillas, the principal food of the Aztecs, are known as the "bread of Mexico." One in three of these establishments was in Texas.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <>

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

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • 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: <>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014