Hispanic Heritage                   

Folklore boliviano en Fiesta DC. Foto archivo: Ramón Jiménez

By Isaac Cohen*

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15, as decided by Congress in 1968 authorizing the president to issue every year a proclamation of a National Hispanic Heritage week. In 2008, Congress extended the celebration to a month. This year the start of the month coincided with the Central American countries’ bicentennial of their independence. Additionally, every year the Bureau of the Census releases the latest figures on the evolution of the Hispanic minority, which this year includes some of the results of the 2020 census. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2020/hispanic-heritage-month.html

The number of Hispanics in the United States, in July 2019, reached 60.6 million, 18.5 percent of the total population, which made it the most numerous minority, but behind the fastest growing Asian American minority. Contrary to what recent headlines indicate, the number of Hispanics in the United States has barely increased in the last decade, from 18.0 percent of the total population in 2007. Additionally, the share of immigrants among Hispanics declined from 40 to 33 percent in the same period. For instance, out of a total of 37 million Hispanics of Mexican origin, only 30 percent are foreign born, followed by the second largest segment of Hispanic population, of almost 6 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland, who are US citizens by birth.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.


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