Facts You Should Know For Hispanic Heritage Month


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On September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included September 15 and September 16. Congress expanded the observance in 1989 to a month long celebration (September 15 – October 15) of 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.
September 15 is 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 September 16 and September 18, respectively.

 U.S. Hispanic Population – 54 million. 

The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2013, makes people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 17 percent of the nation’s total population.
1.1 million –  The number of Hispanics added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013. This number is close to half of the approximately 2.3 million people added to the nation’s population during this period.

National Characteristics: Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic origin

2.0% – The percentage increase in the Hispanic population between 2012 and 2013.
128.8  – The projected Hispanic population of the United States in 2060. According to this projection, the Hispanic population will constitute 31 percent of the nation’s population by that date.
2nd – Ranking of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2010. Only Mexico (120 million) had a larger Hispanic population than the United States (54 million).
64% – The percentage of those of Hispanic origin in the United States who were of Mexican background in 2012. Another 9.4 percent were of Puerto Rican background, 3.8 percent Salvadoran, 3.7 percent Cuban, 3.1 percent Dominican and 2.3 percent Guatemalan. The remainder was of some other Central American, South American or other Hispanic/Latino origin.

States and Counties

34.4 years – The median age of Hispanics in Florida, the highest of any state in the country.
10 million – The estimated population for those of Hispanic origin in Texas as of July 1, 2013.
8 – The number of states with a population of 1 million or more Hispanic residents in 2013 – Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
55% – The percentage of all the Hispanic population that lived in California, Florida and Texas as of July 1, 2013.
47.3% –  The percentage of New Mexico’s population that was Hispanic as of July 1, 2013, the highest of any state.
14.7 million –  The Hispanic population of California. This is the largest Hispanic population of any state.
4.8 million – Los Angeles County had the largest Hispanic population of any county in 2013.
50,000 –  Miami-Dade County in Florida had the largest numeric increase of Hispanics from 2012 to 2013.
22 – Number of states in which Hispanics were the largest minority group. These states were Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Families and Children

11.9 million – The number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2013.
62.4% – The percentage of Hispanic family households that were married-couple households in 2013. For the total population in the U.S., it was 73.2 percent.
58.5% – The percentage of Hispanic married-couple households that had children younger than 18 present in 2013, whereas for the nation it was 40.3 percent.
65.1% – Percentage of Hispanic children living with two parents in 2013, whereas nationwide it was 68.5 percent.
43.1% –  Percentage of Hispanic married couples with children under 18 where both spouses were employed in 2013, whereas nationwide it was 58.0 percent.

Spanish Language

38.3 million – The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2012. This is a 121 percent increase since 1990 when it was 17.3 million. Those who hablan español en casa constituted 13.0 percent of U.S. residents 5 and older. More than half (58 percent) of these Spanish speakers spoke English “very well.”
73.9% –  Percentage of Hispanics 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2012.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$39,005 – The median income of Hispanic households in 2012.
25.6% – The poverty rate among Hispanics in 2012 was 25.6 percent. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, Table B
29.1% – The percentage of Hispanics who lacked health insurance in 2012, down from 30.1 percent in 2011


64.0% – The percentage of Hispanics 25 and older that had at least a high school education in 2012.
13.8% – The percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2012.
4 million – The number of Hispanics 25 and older who had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2012.
1.3 million – Number of Hispanics 25 and older with advanced degrees in 2012 (e.g., master’s, professional, doctorate).
6.8% –  Percentage of students (both undergraduate and graduate) enrolled in college in 2012 who were Hispanic.
23.3% – Percentage of elementary and high school students that were Hispanic in 2012.


35.6% – Percentage of the Hispanic population that was foreign-born in 2012.
64.3% –  Percentage of the 10.3 million noncitizens under the age of 35 who were born in Latin America and the Caribbean and are living in the United States in 2010-2012.


67.1% – Percentage of Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who were in the civilian labor force in 2012.
19.5% –  The percentage of civilian employed Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2012.


8.4% – The percentage of voters in the 2012 presidential election who were Hispanic. Hispanics comprised 7 percent of voters in 2010.

Serving our Country

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


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 58.0 percent from 2002.
23.7% – 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.
A special thanks to the National Institute for Latino Policy for researching and creating this list of facts about U.S. Hispanics.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, American Community Survey, Statistics for All U.S. Firms by Industry, Gender, Ethnicity, and Race for the United  States, States, Metro Areas, Counties, and Places.
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