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Hispanic Heritage Month: Home

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History of Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for 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. 

Lastly, through a 2014 Presidential Proclamation under President Barack Obama, National Hispanic Serving Institutions Week is September 14-20. Within the 30-day period of Hispanic Heritage Month, Día de la Raza is observed on October 12. 

- Library of Congress

Demographics and Data Courtesy of the US Census Bureau

Did You Know?

63.7 million

The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2022, making it the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority — 19.1% of the total population.

Source: Vintage 2022 Population Estimates


The number of states with one million or more Hispanic residents in 2022 — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

Source:Vintage 2022 Population Estimates


The increase (from July 1, 2021-July 1, 2022) in the number of Hispanics in Harris County, Texas, the county with the nation’s largest gain in this population during this time period, up 1.7%.   

Source:County Population by Characteristics: 2020-2022 (


The median age of the Hispanic population in 2022, up from 30.4 in 2021.

Source:National Population by Characteristics: 2020-2022 (

  • HispanicHispanic refers to language. Hispanic if you and/or your ancestry come from a country where they speak Spanish. 1
  • Latino/a Latino refers to geography. Specifically, to Latin America, to people from the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic), South America (Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, etc.) and Central America (Honduras, Costa Rica, etc.) 1
  • Latinx - Of, relating to, or marked by Latin American Heritage - used as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina.
  • Latin@ - Gender-neutral shorthand for Latino/Latina. 3
  • Chicano/a - An American of Mexican descent. 2
About One-in-Four U.S. Hispanics Have Heard of Latinx, but Just 3% Use It - Young Hispanic women among the most likely to use the term PDF 

- by Luis Noe-Bustamante, Lauren Mora and Mark Hugo LopezUse of the term Latinex From Pew Research Center -  August 11, 2020


Image Source, Image Source, Venn Diagram Source

Statistics Courtesy of Pew Research Center

Naleo Education Fund

NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
Founded in 1981, NALEO Educational Fund achieves its mission through integrated strategies that include increasing the effectiveness of Latino policymakers, mobilizing the Latino community to engage in civic life and promoting policies that advance Latino political engagement.
NALEO Educational Fund provides national leadership on key issues that affect Latino participation in our political process, including immigration and naturalization, voting rights, election reform, the Census and the appointment of qualified Latinos to top executive and judicial positions.

Flags from Hispanic Countries, from left to right, top to bottom. 
Row 1 - Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
Row 2 - Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Bolivia, Panama, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay