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National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins each year on Sept. 15, celebrates US Latinos, their culture and their history. Started in 1968 by Congress as Hispanic Heritage Week, it was expanded to a month in 1988. The celebration begins in the middle rather than the start of September because it coincides with national independence days in several Latin American countries. 

Here are some key facts about the nation’s Latino population:

  • The US Hispanic population reached 60 million in 2019 up to 50.7 million in 2010.
  • The share of US Hispanics / Latinos with college experience has increased since 2010 by 35%.
  • The share of Latinos in the US who speak English proficiently is growing by 15% annually.
  • Four in five Latinos are US citizens.
  • A record 32 million Latinos are projected to be eligible to vote this year, up from 27 million in 2016.
  • A quarter of Latino eligible to vote are naturalized citizens. As of 2018, that amounted to 7.5 million Latino 

CIDE held a lecture on Thursday, October 8 at 11:00 am by Dr. Jean Carlos Cowan on the topic: Latino Vote and Key Facts about U.S. Latinos

Dr. Jean Carlos Cowan, Professor, has been teaching at Orange County Community College since the year 2000. He teaches all levels of Spanish language and Literature, Latin American History and Migration. Dr. Cowan was awarded a dual PhD from SUNY Albany in Spanish Literature and Latin American History and Politics from LACS (Latino American and Caribbean Studies Department) in 2006.

This lecture was hosted by The Committee for Institutional Diversity and Equity (CIDE) with Dr. Michael Strmiska, Professor, Global Studies department, as moderator.