Written by: Tom Mesenbourg, Deputy Director
September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, the time of year when our nation celebrates the cultures and contributions of people whose roots are in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Today, nearly one in six people in this country are Hispanic. That’s a significant change since the last census in 2000 when about one in eight people in this country were Hispanic. In fact, last year nearly 50 million people in this country identified themselves as Hispanic.
As the Hispanic community continues to grow, so does its influence on our economy. Every five years, the Survey of Business Owners profiles America’s businesses, giving us a look at the characteristics of U.S. businesses and their owners by gender, race, ethnicity and veteran status.
In 2007 — the last time the survey took place — there were 2.3 million Hispanic businesses, an increase of 44 percent from 2002. In contrast, the Hispanic population only grew by 18 percent over the same period.
Additionally, Hispanic-owned businesses generated about $345 billion in sales in 2007, up nearly 56 percent compared with 2002. That’s well above the increase of 34 percent for all U.S. firms.
The data show Hispanic-owned businesses are growing, faster than the growth rate of the Hispanic population. It’s a good report card of the progress our nation’s Hispanics are making in achieving their entrepreneurial dreams.
Over the next eight months, the Census Bureau will continue to publish information from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners. In December, we will be releasing detailed information on women-owned businesses. In 2011, look for ownership data for other groups. To find out more information about Hispanic-owned businesses, visit www.census.gov/econ/sbo.