WASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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 month-long 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.
The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2009, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are approximately 4 million residents of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean U.S. territory.
The percentage of Hispanic-origin people in the United States who were of Mexican background in 2008. Another 9 percent were of Puerto Rican background, with 3.4 percent Cuban, 3.4 percent Salvadoran and 2.8 percent Dominican. The remainder was of some other Central American, South American or other Hispanic or Latino origin.
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.
The percentage of New Mexico's population that was Hispanic in 2009, the highest of any state. Hispanics also made up at least one fifth of the population in California and Texas, at 37 percent each, followed by Arizona (31 percent), Nevada (26 percent), Florida (22 percent) and Colorado (20 percent). New Mexico had 916,000 Hispanics.
The Hispanic population of Los Angeles County, Calif., in 2009 — the largest of any county in the nation. Los Angeles County also had the biggest numerical increase in the Hispanic population (78,000) since July 2008.
Number of states in which Hispanics were the largest minority group. These states were Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 43.6 percent from 2002.
Receipts generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 55.5 percent from 2002.
The percentage of businesses in New Mexico in 2007 that was Hispanic-owned, which led all states. Florida (22.4 percent) and Texas (20.7 percent) were runners-up.
Percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses in the construction and the other services sectors; 50.7 percent of the receipts of these businesses were concentrated in wholesale trade, construction and retail trade.
Families and Children
The number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2009. Of these households,
The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2008. Those who hablan espanol constituted 12 percent of U.S. residents. More than half of these Spanish speakers spoke English "very well."
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.
The percentage of civilian employed Hispanics or Latinos 16 years and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations in 2008. The same percentage worked in production, transportation and material moving occupations. Another 15 percent worked in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations. Approximately 24 percent of Hispanics 16 or older worked in service occupations; 22 percent in sales and office occupations; and 2 percent in farming, fishing and forestry occupations.