Fall provides plenty of opportunities to celebrate. For people of Hispanic and Latino descent, the weeks between mid-September to mid-October can be exciting and proud times to commemorate their unique heritage. That’s because National Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) occurs from September 15 to October 15 each year.
Here are eight facts that offer insight into the Hispanic population across the country.
1. HHM started out as a week-long recognition.
In 1968, the U.S. originally observed the event as “Hispanic Heritage Week.” It was later extended to a month-long commemoration in 1988.
2. HHM celebrates independence.
HHM is celebrated between mid-September and mid-October because those weeks correlate with the independence day celebrations of several countries with large Hispanic populations. Such nations include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15; Mexico on September 16; and Chile on September 18.
3. HHM recognizes special Hispanic contributions as well.
HHM also honors contributions such as Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Day that is celebrated in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
4. The 2023 theme is: “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.”
Hispanics have made significant contributions to the economic, social and political growth of the U.S. This theme focuses on these contributions and the representation of Hispanics in these key areas.
5. Millions of people comprise the demographic.
The U.S. Census Bureau says that more than 60 million people identified as Hispanic or Latino in 2020. That figure represents a 25 percent increase since 2010. Hispanics and Latinos now comprise about 18 percent of the U.S. population.
6. There are many different celebrations.
HHM is celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, and many other unique and festive events.
7. Mexicans are the largest Hispanic group in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health notes that, among the 62 million Hispanics and Latinos living in the U.S., those who trace their heritage to Mexico ranked as the largest demographic at 61.6 percent, followed by those of Puerto Rican descent (9.6 percent as of 2020).
8. More and more companies are celebrating HHM.
In 2022, many different companies of varying sizes and in an assortment of industries celebrated HHM. These included Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, Samsara, Nestlé, Google, United Health Group, and many more.
National Hispanic Heritage Month remains a popular time to spotlight Hispanic and Latino contributions to the country and the heritage of this influential demographic.