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Cinco de Mayo, by the numbers

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the legendary Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, in which a Mexican force of 4,500 men faced 6,000 well-trained French soldiers. The battle lasted four hours and ended in a victory for the Mexican army under Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza. Along with Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16, Cinco de Mayo has become a time to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture.

29.2 million
Number of U.S. residents of Mexican origin in 2007. These residents constituted 10 percent of the nation’s total population and 64 percent of the Hispanic population

18.25 million
Number of people of Mexican origin who lived either in California (10.97 million) or Texas (7.28 million). People of Mexican origin made up more than one-quarter of the residents of these two states.

Median age of people in the United States of Mexican descent. This compares with 36.7 years for the population as a whole.

Number of Mexican-Americans who are U.S. military veterans.

1.3 million
Number of people of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher. This includes about 362,000 who have a graduate degree.

Among households where a householder was of Mexican origin, the percentage of married-couple families with own children younger than 18. For all households, the corresponding percentage was 21 percent.

Average size for families with a householder of Mexican origin. This compares to 3.2 people in all families.

Percentage of employed civilians 16 and older of Mexican heritage who worked in managerial, professional or related occupations. In addition, 24 percent worked in service occupations; 20 percent in sales and office occupations; 18 percent in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations; and 19 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations.

Median household income in 2007 for households with a householder of Mexican origin.

Poverty rate in 2007 for people of Mexican heritage.

Percentage of civilians 16 and older of Mexican origin in the labor force. The percentage was 65 percent for the population as a whole. There were 13 million people of Mexican heritage in the labor force, comprising 9 percent of the total.

Percentage of householders of Mexican origin who owned the home in which they lived.

Source for the preceding statements: 2007 American Community Survey <>

Trade With Mexico

$367.5 billion
The value of goods traded between the United States and Mexico in 2008. Mexico was our nation’s third-leading trading partner, after Canada and China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <>


Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002. They accounted for more than 44 percent of all Hispanic-owned firms. Among these Mexican-owned firms, 275,896 were in California and 235,735 in Texas. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif., combined statistical area had 174,292.

$96.7 billion
Sales and receipts for firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002.

Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in the construction sector in 2002, which led all sectors.

Source for statements in this section: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2002 <>

Mexican Food

$100.4 million
Product shipment value of tamales and other Mexican food specialties (not frozen or canned) produced in the United States in 2002. 
Source: 2002 Economic Census <>

$48.9 million
Product shipment value of frozen enchiladas produced in the United States in 2002. Frozen tortilla shipments were valued even higher, at $156 million. 
Source: 2002 Economic Census <>

Number of U.S. tortilla manufacturing establishments in 2006. The establishments that produce this unleavened flat bread employed about 14,500 people. Tortillas, the principal food of the Aztecs, are known as the “bread of Mexico.” About one in three of these establishments was in Texas. 
Source: County Business Patterns: 2006 <>

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