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Facts for Features
CB11-FF.18
Aug. 26, 2011

Hispanic Heritage Month 2011: Sept. 15 - Oct. 15

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1988 by Congress to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15), effective the following year. America celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Population

50.5 million

The Hispanic population of the United States as of April 1, 2010, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.3 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
Source: American FactFinder: United States DP-1 <http://factfinder2.census.gov> and
<http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf>

43%

Percentage increase in the Hispanic population between April 1, 2000, and April 1, 2010.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf> and
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/2010_census/cb11-cn146.html>

132.8 million

The projected Hispanic population of the United States on July 1, 2050. According to this projection, Hispanics will constitute 30 percent of the nation's population by that date.
Source: Population projections <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-123.html>

35.3 million

The number of Hispanics counted during the 2000 Census.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf>

22.4 million

The nation's Hispanic population during the 1990 Census.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2000 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-3.pdf>

2nd

Ranking of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2010. Only Mexico (112 million) had a larger Hispanic population than the United States (50.5 million).
Source: International Data Base <http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbsum.html>

63%

The percentage of Hispanic-origin people in the United States who were of Mexican background in 2010. Another 9.2 percent were of Puerto Rican background, 3.5 percent Cuban, 3.3 percent Salvadoran and 2.8 percent Dominican. The remainder was of some other Central American, South American or other Hispanic or Latino origin.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf>

States and Counties

14 million

The population of the Hispanic-origin population that lived in California in 2010, up from 11 million in 2000.
Source: American FactFinder: California DP-1 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

16

The number of states with at least a half-million Hispanic residents — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Source: American FactFinder: United States DP-1 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

46.3

The percentage of New Mexico's population that was Hispanic in 2010, the highest of any state. Hispanics also made up at least one-fifth of the population in California and Texas, at 38 percent each, followed by Arizona (30 percent), Nevada (27 percent), Florida (22 percent) and Colorado (21 percent). New Mexico had 953,403 Hispanics.
Source: American FactFinder: United States DP-1 <http://www.factfinder2.census.gov/>

148%

The percentage increase in the Hispanic population in South Carolina between April 1, 2000, and April 1, 2010, the highest of any state.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf> page 6

4.7 million

The Hispanic population of Los Angeles County, Calif., in 2010. This is the highest of any county.
Source: American FactFinder: California DP-1 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

96

Proportion of the population of Webb County, Texas, that was Hispanic as of 2010. This is the highest proportion of any county.
Source: American FactFinder Texas DP-1 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

82

Number of the nation's 3,143 counties that were majority-Hispanic.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf> page 11

3 million

The increase in California's Hispanic population between April 1, 2000, and April 1, 2010.
Source: American FactFinder: California DP-1 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

25

Number of states in which Hispanics were the largest minority group. These states were Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
Source: American FactFinder: United States DP-1 <http://www.factfinder2.census.gov>

Businesses

Source for statements in this section: Census Bureau News Release: Census Bureau Reports Hispanic-Owned Businesses Increase at More than Double the National Rate <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/economic_census/cb10-107.html>

2.3

The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 43.7 percent from 2002.

$345.2 billion

Receipts generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 55.5 percent from 2002.

23.6%

The percentage of businesses in New Mexico in 2007 that were Hispanic-owned, which led all states. Florida (22.4 percent) and Texas (20.7 percent) were runners-up.

30.0%

Percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses in the construction and the other services sectors; 50.8 percent of the receipts of Hispanic-owned businesses were concentrated in wholesale trade, construction and retail trade.

Families and Children

10.4 million

The number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2010.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table F1
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html>

63%

The percentage of Hispanic family households consisting of a married couple.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table F1
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html>

39%

The percentage of Hispanic family households consisting of a married couple with children younger than 18 in 2010.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table F1
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html>

67%

Percentage of Hispanic children living with two parents.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table C9
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html>

44%

Percentage of Hispanic married couples with children under 18 where both spouses were employed in 2010.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table FG-1
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html>

Spanish Language

35 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2009. Those who hablan espaƱol constituted 12 percent of U.S. residents. More than half of these Spanish speakers spoke English “very well.”
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey: Table B16001 <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

17 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 1990.
Source: Language Use in the United States: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/acs-12.pdf>

76%

Percentage of Hispanics 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2009.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey: Table B16006
<http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$38,039

The median income of Hispanic households in 2009.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb10-144.html>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

25.3%

The poverty rate among Hispanics in 2009, up from 23.2 percent in 2008.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb10-144.html>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

32.4%

The percentage of Hispanics who lacked health insurance in 2009, up from 30.7 percent in 2008.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb10-144.html>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

Education

63%

The percentage of Hispanics 25 and older that had at least a high school education in 2010.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010 Detailed Tables
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/2010/tables.html>

14%

The percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher in 2010.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/2010/tables.html>

3.9 million

The number of Hispanics 18 and older who had at least a bachelor's degree in 2010.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/education/cps2010.html>

1 million

Number of Hispanics 18 and older with advanced degrees in 2010 (e.g., master's, professional, doctorate).
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/education/cps2010.html>

12%

Percentage of college students (both undergraduate and graduate students) in October 2009 who were Hispanic.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2009
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2009.html>

20%

Percentage of elementary and high school students that were Hispanic in 2009.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2009
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2009.html>

Foreign-Born

47%

Percent of the foreign-born population that was Hispanic in 2009.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

Names

4

The number of Hispanic surnames ranked among the 15 most common in 2000. It was the first time that a Hispanic surname reached the top 15 during a census. Garcia was the most frequent Hispanic surname, occurring 858,289 times and placing eighth on the list — up from 18th in 1990. Rodriguez (ninth), Martinez (11th) and Hernandez (15th) were the next most common Hispanic surnames.
Source: Census 2000 Genealogy <http://www.census.gov/genealogy/www/freqnames2k.html>

Jobs

68%

Percentage of Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who were in the civilian labor force in 2009.
Source: 2011 Statistical Abstract
<http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/labor_force_employment_earnings/labor_force_status.html>

19%

The percentage of civilian employed Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations in 2009.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey: Table B24010I <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

Voting

9.7 million

The number of Hispanic citizens who reported voting in the 2008 presidential election, about 2 million more than voted in 2004. The percentage of Hispanic citizens voting went from 47 percent in 2004 to 50 percent in 2008.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p20-562.pdf>

Serving our Country

1.1 million

The number of Hispanics or Latinos 18 and older who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey: Table B21001I <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>
Note: Figures will be updated late Sept. 2011

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: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014