- 2012 - September - 12th -

By the numbers: Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 — Oct. 15

from staff

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Saturday.

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.

The U.S. 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 for 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.

Here are some key statistics relating to the month:


52 million

The Hispanic population of the U.S. as of July 1, 2011, which makes people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.7 percent of the nation’s total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.


1.3 million

Number of Hispanics added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011. This number is more than half of the approximately 2.3 million added to the nation’s population during this period.


Percentage increase in the Hispanic population between 2010 and 2011.


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.

50.5 million

The number of Hispanics counted during the 2010 Census. This was about a 43 percent increase from the Hispanic population in the 2000 Census, which was 35.3 million.



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).


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/Latino origin.


States and counties


The state with the highest median age, 34, within the Hispanic population.


14.4 million                                          

The estimated population for those of Hispanic-origin in California as of July 1, 2011. 


The number of states that have a population of 1 million or more Hispanic residents — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.


More than 50%

The percent of all the Hispanic population that live in California, Florida and Texas as of July 1, 2011.


The percentage of New Mexico’s population that was Hispanic as of July 1, 2011, the highest of any state.  



The percentage increase in the Hispanic population in South Carolina between April 1, 2000, and April 1, 2010, the highest of any state. Alabama had the second highest increase, with 144.8 percent.


4.7 million

The Hispanic population of Los Angeles County, Calif. in 2010. This is the highest of any county.



Proportion of the population of East Los Angeles, Calif., that was Hispanic as of 2010. This is the highest proportion for any place outside the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with 100,000 or more total population.



Number of the nation’s 3,143 counties that were majority-Hispanic.


1 in 4

The amount of counties that Hispanics doubled their population since 2000.



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.



2.3 million

The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 43.6 percent from 2002.


$350.7 billion

Receipts generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 58 percent from 2002.



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.


Families and Children

10.7 million

The number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2011.



The percentage of Hispanic family households that are married-couple households in 2011.



The percentage of Hispanic married-couple households that have children younger than 18 present in 2011.



Percentage of Hispanic children living with two parents in 2011.


Percentage of Hispanic married couples with children under 18 where both spouses were employed in 2011.


Spanish Language

37 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2010. Those who hablan español constituted 12.8 percent of U.S. residents 5 and older. More than half of these Spanish speakers spoke English “very well.”


17.3 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 1990.



Percentage of Hispanics 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2010.


Income, Poverty and Health Insurance


The median income of Hispanic households in 2010.



The poverty rate among Hispanics in 2010, up from 25.3 percent in 2009



The percentage of Hispanics who lacked health insurance in 2010, which is down from 31.6 percent in 2009.




The percentage of Hispanics 25 and older that had at least a high school education in 2010.


The percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2010.


3.6 million                                                              

The number of Hispanics 25 and older who had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2010.

1.1 million         

Number of Hispanics 25 and older with advanced degrees in 2010 (e.g., master’s, professional, doctorate).



Percentage of students (both undergraduate and graduate students) enrolled in college in 2010

who were Hispanic.



Percentage of elementary and high school students that were Hispanic in 2010.




Percent of the foreign-born population that was Hispanic in 2010.




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.




Percentage of Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who were in the civilian labor force in 2010.



The percentage of civilian employed Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who worked in management, business, science, and arts occupations in 2010.




The percentage of Hispanic voters in the 2010 congressional election. This is the highest percentage of Hispanics for a nonpresidential election. Hispanics comprised 6 percent of voters in 2006.

Serving our country

1.2 million                                                  

The number of Hispanics or Latinos 18 and older who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

Source for figures: census.gov

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