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September 3, 2002

Quotes & radio sound bites

Hispanic Heritage Month 2002:
Sept. 15-Oct. 15


35.3 million
The nation's Hispanic population as enumerated in Census 2000. Hispanics comprised 12.5 percent of the nation's total population. (This does not include the 3.8 million Hispanic residents of Puerto Rico.) <>

The percentage increase in the nation's Hispanic population between the 1990 and 2000 censuses. Numerically, this was 13.0 million. Hispanics accounted for 40 percent of the increase in the nation's total population during this period. <>

The Latino Family

7.4 million
Number of Hispanic or Latino families counted in Census 2000. Of these,

Spanish Language

28 million
Number of U.S. residents age 5 and over who spoke Spanish at home, according to Census 2000. Spanish-speakers constituted a ratio of more than 1-in-10 residents. Among all those who spoke Spanish, slightly more than half also reported speaking fluent English. The 1990 census counted 17 million Spanish speakers. <>

The percentage of people age 5 and over in New Mexico who spoke Spanish at home, according to Census 2000. New Mexico led all states, with Texas (27 percent) and California (26 percent) close behind. <>

Coming to America

Median number of years, as of 2000, that the U.S. population born in Latin America had lived in the United States. Within this group, the median length of residence was highest for those from the Caribbean (17.6 years), reflecting the relatively large number of immigrants from Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s. The median lengths of residence of the population from Central America (about four-fifths of whom are from Mexico) and South America, 12.9 years and 13.0 years, respectively, were not statistically different from each other. <>

Percentage of the nation's Hispanic population in 2000 that was either foreign-born themselves or had at least one parent who was foreign-born. <>

Income and Poverty

The real median income of Hispanic households in 2000 -- the highest ever recorded. <>

The poverty rate among individual Hispanics in 2000. The 2000 rate matches the record lows reached in the 1970s. A total of 7.2 million Hispanics were poor in 2000, not statistically different from 1999. <>

The percentage of poor Hispanic families in 2000, representing a decline of 1.7 percentage points from 1999. <>


The percentage of Hispanics 25 and over who had at least a high school education in 2000. <>

The percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and over with at least a bachelor's degree in 2000. <>

Number of Hispanics 15 and over with an advanced degree (e.g., master's, doctorate, medical or law) in 2000. <>


Percentage of Hispanic men age 16 and over who were in the labor force in 2000. Fifty-seven percent of Hispanic women were in the labor force. <>

Percentage of Hispanic workers employed in service occupations or as operators and laborers in 2000. <>

Percentage of Hispanic workers employed in managerial or professional occupations in 2000. <>


Census 2000 showed that the Hispanic homeownership rate -- the percentage of Hispanic households owning their own home -- was 46 percent. This is up from 42 percent in 1990. Among Hispanic groups, Cubans and Spaniards had the highest homeownership rates in 2000 (58 percent each). <>

The Latino Vote

While turnout by Hispanic citizens in the 2000 presidential election - 45 percent - was not statistically different from 1996, the number of Hispanic voters increased about 20 percent over the period. This reflected growth in the number of Hispanics 18 years of age and older and in the number who were citizens. <>

Population Distribution

About 9-in-10 Hispanics lived in metropolitan areas in 2000; of these, roughly half lived in central cities. <>

20.6 million
The number of people of Mexican origin in 2000. They comprised 58 percent of the nation's Hispanics or Latinos and an increase of 7.1 million since 1990.

The rest of Hispanics in 2000 were: 3.4 million of Puerto Rican heritage; 1.2 million of Cuban background; 1.7 million of Central American descent; 1.4 million of South American origin; 765,000 of Dominican heritage; 100,000 of Spanish background; and 6.1 million of other Hispanic origins. <>


Percentage of Hispanic population in 2000 that lived in California and Texas. California was home to 11.0 million Hispanics and Texas, to 6.7 million. About 3-in-4 Hispanics lived in seven states with 1 million or more each: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Arizona and New Jersey. <>

Percentage of New Mexico's population that was Hispanic in 2000, highest of any state. <>

Number of states where the Hispanic population more than tripled between 1990 and 2000. Except for Nevada, each was in the South. The others: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. <>


2.2 million
New York City's total Hispanic population in 2000, the largest of any city in the nation. Those of Puerto Rican heritage comprised the biggest share of the city's Hispanic population (37 percent); they were particularly concentrated in Bronx County and Kings County (Brooklyn), each of which contained more people of Puerto Rican origin than any other county in the nation. <>

Percentage of East Los Angeles, Calif., residents in 2000 who were Hispanic, highest of any place with 100,000 or more population outside Puerto Rico. <>

The nation's populations of Cuban and Dominican heritage each are heavily concentrated in a single place. More than half of the population of Cuban background (52 percent) lived in Miami-Dade County, Fla., and the majority of those of Dominican descent (53 percent) resided in New York city in 2000. <>


The median age of the Hispanic population in 2000, meaning one-half were above it and one-half, below. Among Hispanic groups, median ages ranged from 24.3 years for those of Mexican origin to 40.1 years for people of Cuban descent. The median age for the total U.S. population was 35.3 years. <>


1.2 million
The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States in 1997. These firms employed almost 1.4 million people and generated $186.3 billion in revenues. Hispanic-owned firms made up 6 percent of the nation's 20.8 million nonfarm businesses. <>

Number of firms in 1997 whose owners were of Mexican descent. Among Hispanic groups, those of Mexican descent owned by far the highest number of Hispanic-owned firms. <>

Percentage of minority-owned firms in 1997 owned by Hispanics, more than any other minority group. <>

Percentage increase between 1992 and 1997 in the number of Hispanic firms, excluding C corporations, for which prior comparable data are not available. C corporations are incorporated businesses, excluding sub-chapter S corporations, whose shareholders elect to be taxed as individuals rather than as corporations. <>

Percentage of Hispanic-owned firms owned by women in 1997. <>

The preceding facts come from the Current Population Survey, the Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises and Census 2000. The data are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Previous 2002 Census Bureau Facts for Features: African American History Month (February), Valentine's Day (Feb. 14), Women's History Month (March), St. Patrick's Day (March 17), Census Bureau Centennial (March 6), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May), Older Americans Month (May), Mother's Day (May 12), Father's Day (June 16), the Fourth of July, the 12th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26), Back to School (August), Labor Day (Sept. 2) and Grandparents Day (Sept. 8). Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau's Public Information Office (tel.: [301] 763-3030; fax: [301] 457-3670; and e-mail: <>).

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office |  Last Revised: April 17, 2009