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Facts for Features
CB12-FF.10
March 21, 2012

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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.

Mexican Population

31.8 million

The number of U.S. residents of Mexican origin, according to the 2010 Census. These residents accounted for about three-quarters (63 percent) of the 50.5 million Hispanics and increased 54 percent, growing from 20.6 million in 2000 to 31.8 million in 2010.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf>

25.5

Median age of people in the United States of Mexican origin. The total Hispanic population had a median age of 27.2 and for the total population it was 37.2.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

Geographic Distribution

61%

Percentage of the Mexican-origin population in the United States that resided in California (11.4 million) and Texas (8.0 million) in 2010.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf>

40

Number of states in which the Mexican-origin population represented the largest Hispanic group, according to the 2010 Census. More than half these states were in the South and West regions of the country, two in the Northeast region, and in all 12 states in the Midwest region.
Source: The Hispanic Population: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf>

Military

685,000

Number of U.S. military veterans of Mexican origin.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Education

1.5 million

Number of people of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher. This included about 404,000 who had a graduate or professional degree.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

Families

34.0%

Percentage of married-couple families, with own children younger than 18, among households with a householder of Mexican origin. For all households, the corresponding percentage was 20 percent.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

4.2 people

Average size of families with a householder of Mexican origin in 2010. The average size of all families was 3.2 people.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

Jobs

67.8%

Percentage 16 and older of Mexican origin in the labor force. The percentage was 64 percent for the population as a whole.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

16.2%

Percentage of civilians employed 16 years and older of Mexican origin who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations. In addition, 27 percent worked in service occupations; 21 percent in sales and office occupations; 18 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations; and 18 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

Income and Wealth

$39,264

Median family income in 2010 for households with a householder of Mexican origin. For the population as a whole, the corresponding amount was $60,609.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

26.6%

Poverty rate in 2010 for all people of Mexican heritage. For the population as a whole, the corresponding rate was 15.3 percent.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.go>> table S0201

24.2%

Poverty rate in 2010 for all families of Mexican heritage. For all families, the corresponding family poverty rate was 11.3 percent.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

Ownership

49.2%

Percentage of householders of Mexican origin in occupied housing units who owned the home in which they lived. This compared with 65.4 percent for the population as a whole.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov> table S0201

Foreign-Born

11.7 million

Number of Mexican-born U.S. residents in 2010, representing 29 percent of the foreign-born population.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Language spoken at home

75.3%

Percentage of Mexican-origin people who spoke a language other than English at home; among these people, 36 percent spoke English less than "very well." Among the population as a whole, the corresponding figures were 21 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Trade with Mexico

$460.6 billion

The value of total goods traded between the United States and Mexico in 2011. Mexico was our nation's third-leading trading partner, after Canada and China. The leading U.S. export commodity to Mexico in 2011 was unleaded gasoline ($11.6 billion); the leading U.S. import commodity from Mexico in 2011 was crude petroleum ($29.9 billion).
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top1112yr.html> and
<https://www.usatradeonline.gov/>

Businesses

1.0 million

Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2007. They accounted for 45.8 percent of all Hispanic-owned firms. Mexicans led all Hispanic subgroups.
Source: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/get07sof.html?11>

$154.9 billion

Sales and receipts for firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2007, 44.2 percent of all Hispanic-owned firm receipts.
Source: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/get07sof.html?11>

47.8%

Percentage increase in the number of businesses owned by people of Mexican origin between 2002 and 2007.
Source: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/business_ownership/cb10-145.html>

70.5%

Percent of all Mexican-owned U.S. businesses in either California or Texas in 2007. California had the most Mexican-owned U.S. firms (36.1 percent), followed by Texas (34.4 percent) and Arizona (4.1 percent).
Source: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/get07sof.html?11>

16.5%

Ratio of Mexican-owned firms to all firms in Texas, which led all states. New Mexico was next (15.1 percent), followed by California (10.9 percent), Arizona (8.6 percent) and Nevada (4.9 percent).
Source: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/get07sof.html?11>

32.3%

Percentage of Mexican-owned U.S. firms in the construction and repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services sectors. Mexican-owned firms accounted for 5.1 percent of all U.S. businesses in these sectors.
Source: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/get07sof.html?11>

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>

$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 <http://www.census.gov/econ/census02/guide/INDRPT31.HTM>

374

Number of U.S. tortilla manufacturing establishments in 2008. The establishments that produce this unleavened flat bread employed 16,311 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: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

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>.

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