Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the contributions Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean have made to U.S. society and culture. The observance was born in 1968, when Congress authorized the president to issue an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week. Two decades later, lawmakers expanded it to a monthlong celebration, stretching from September 15 to October 15.
The timing is key. Hispanic Heritage Month — like its shorter precursor — always starts on September 15, a historically significant day that marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The designated period is also a nod to those from Mexico and Chile, which celebrate their independence September 16 and September 18, respectively.
The following facts are available thanks to the public’s invaluable participation in U.S. Census Bureau surveys. We appreciate the information shared by each respondent as we continuously count and measure America’s people, places and economy.
The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2021, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority — 18.9% of the total population.
The number of states with a population of one million or more Hispanic residents in 2021 — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
The increase (from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021) in the number of Hispanics in Riverside County, California, the county with the nation’s greatest growth in this population during this period.
The median age of the Hispanic population, up from 30.2 in 2020.
There is a detailed profile of the Hispanic population available from the 2021 American Community Survey, including data on:
The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
Black (African American) History Month (February)
Women's History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day/Holiday Season (November-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; or e-mail: email@example.com.
Profile America's Stats for Stories provides links to timely story ideas highlighting the Census Bureau's newsworthy statistics that relate to current events, observances, holidays, and anniversaries. The story ideas are intended to assist the media in story mining and producing content for their respective audiences.