In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week.
In 1989, Congress extended the observance to a month-long celebration: Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Sept. 15 is the start of the celebration because it’s the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
According to 2013 U.S. Census Bureau data, the Hispanic population in the U.S. rose to 54 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 17% of our nation’s total population.
Other key facts about the Hispanic population, according to 2013 U.S. Census Bureau data:
• There are 11.9 million Hispanic households in the U.S.
• The Hispanic population will keep growing. In 2060, the projected Hispanic population is 128.8 million, which will account for 31% of the U.S. population by that date.
• Eight states have more than one million Hispanic residents: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. Also, in 22 states Hispanics are the largest minority group.
• The median income of Hispanic households in 2012 was $39,005. Among these households, the percentage of Hispanics age 25 and older that had at least a high school education in 2012 was 64%.
• The percentage of Hispanics age 16 and older who were in the civilian labor force was 67.1%.
• In the 2012 presidential election 8.4% of voters were Hispanic, up from 7% in 2010.
• There were 1.2 million Hispanics age 18 and older who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
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