Skip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC Home Search CDC CDC Health Topics A-Z    
small bar spacer OMHD Home About Us Sitemap Contact Us bar spacer    
Small horizontal bar collage containing four portraits; each of person of a different racial or ethnic background.
About Minority Health
Cooperative Agreements
Executive Orders
Reports & Publications
Minority Health Resources
All Populations
Racial & Ethnic Minority Populations
Training Opportunities



































































































Last Modified: Oct. 3, 2008
Last Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2008
Content Source:
Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)

Highlights in Minority Health
& Health Disparities
September/October, 2008


Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15, 2008

grey square Introduction grey square Examples of Important Health Disparities
grey square Definition grey square For More Information
grey square Demographics grey square Sources


In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a month long celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.1

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines Hispanic or Latino as “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.”  In data collection and presentation, federal agencies are required to use a minimum of two ethnicities: “Hispanic or Latino” and "Not Hispanic or Latino". 

Starting with Census 2000, the OMB requires federal agencies to use a minimum of five race categories:

Black or African American;
American Indian or Alaska Native;
Asian; and
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. 2 

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up


According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates as of July 1, 2007, there are roughly 45.5 million Hispanics living in the United States, representing approximately 15% of the U.S. total population.1

The projected U.S. Hispanic population for July 1, 2050, is estimated to reach 132.8 million, constituting approximately 30% of the U.S. population by that date.1

Among Hispanic subgroups, Mexicans rank as the largest at 64%. Following Mexicans are Puerto Ricans (9%), Cubans (3.4%), Salvadorans (3.1%), Dominicans (2.8%), and the remaining 17.7% are people of Central and South America or other Hispanic or Latino origins.1

In 2007, almost 34% of Hispanics were under the age 18 in comparison to 21% of non-Hispanic Caucasians and 25% of the total U.S. population.3

States with the largest Hispanic populations are California (13.2 million), Texas (8.6 million), and Florida (3.8 million).1

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

red arrow Private health insurance coverage among persons under age 65 was only 40% for Hispanics/Latinos in 2006, compared to 75.6% for non-Hispanic whites and 66.3% for the total population.
Among Hispanic/Latino subgroups, Mexicans were least likely to be insured (36.5%), while Cubans were most likely to be insured (63.4%).
4  Hispanic/Latina women were 1.5 times more likely to have late or no prenatal care (5.4%) than white women (3.6%).5
red arrow From 1998-2002, Hispanic/Latina women had an incidence rate for cancers of the cervix that was 1.8 times higher than that for white women (Hispanic/Latinas: 15.8 per 100,000 women; Whites: 8.7).  During the same period of time, Hispanics/Latinas also had a cervical cancer death rate that was 1.4 times higher than for white women (Hispanics/Latinas: 3.5 per 100,000 deaths; Whites: 2.5).6
red arrow In 2005, the HIV/AIDS death rate was 2.5 times higher for Hispanic/Latino males (7.5 per 100,000 population) than for non-Hispanic white males (3.0), and more than 3 times higher for Hispanic/Latina females (1.9) than for non-Hispanic white females (0.6).7
blue sphere
In 1999 the death rate for HIV was 32.7 per 100,000 for Puerto Ricans living on the mainland of the United States, higher than any other racial or ethnic group, more than six times the national average (5.4 per 100,000) and more than 13 times the rate for non-Hispanic whites (2.4).8
red arrow In 2002, influenza vaccination coverage among adults 65 years of age and older was 70.2% for whites and 46.7% for Hispanics/Latinos. The gap for pneumococcal vaccination coverage among older adults was even wider, with 60.6% for whites and 23.8% for Hispanics/Latinos.9
red arrow In 2005, the diabetes death rate for Hispanics/Latinos (33.6 per 100,000 population) was 1.6 times higher than for non-Hispanic whites (21.5).10   Among Hispanics/Latinos, the diabetes death rate in 2000 was highest among Puerto Ricans (172), followed by the rates for Mexican Americans (122), and Cuban Americans (47).8
red arrow In 2002, the lifetime prevalence of asthma was 2.4 times higher for Puerto Ricans (196 per 1,000) compared to all Hispanics/Latinos (83) and 1.8 times higher than non-Hispanic whites (111).11
red arrow In men ages 20-74 years, Mexican Americans had a higher prevalence of overweight (75.8%) and obesity (30.5%) from 2001-2004 than non-Hispanic white men (71.1% overweight; 31.0% obese) or non-Hispanic black men (66.8% overweight; 31.2% obese).12
red arrow More than 11 million people reside along the U.S.-Mexico border.  The U.S. border region contains four of eight* of the poorest U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA).  Large population movement, limited public health infrastructure and poor environmental conditions contribute to increased risk for infectious diseases in the border region.13
blue sphere
In 2000, the rate of tuberculosis (TB) was 1.7 times higher along the U.S. side of the border (10.0 per 100,000) than in the entire U.S. (6.0).14
blue sphere
In 2000, the rate of Hepatitis A was 2.2 times higher along the U.S. side of the border (11.0 per 100,000) than in the entire U.S. (4.9).14
blue sphere
In 2000, the rate of Hepatitis B was 2.2 times higher along the U.S. side of the border (6.3 per 100,000) than in the entire U.S. (2.9).14

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
blue sphere Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
Health Disparities Experienced by Hispanics-United States
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
blue sphere Health of Hispanic/Latino Population
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)
blue sphere HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD)
blue sphere Hispanic or Latino Populations (en Español)
blue sphere Hispanic Health Program Fact Sheets   (en Español)
blue sphere Hispanic/Latino News
blue sphere Página Principal de la OMHD
blue sphere Populations Definitions   (en Español)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIS)
blue sphere Hispanics/Latinas
Office of Minority Health (OMH)
blue sphere Hispanic/Latino Profile
blue sphere National Latino AIDS Awareness Day: October 15
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
blue sphere HIV/AIDS Bureau
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
blue sphere Medline Plus
Hispanic-American Health
United States-Mexico Border Health Commission
Healthy Border 2010: An Agenda for Improving Health on the United States-Mexico Border
White House Presidential Proclamation: National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2008
US Census Bureau
blue sphere Facts for Features, Hispanic Heritage Month, 2008

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

1. U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept 15-Oct 15, 2008
2. U.S. Census Bureau, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, 2000
3. U.S. Census Bureau Newsroom, May 1, 2008, U.S. Hispanic Population Surpasses 45 Million, Now 15 Percent of Total
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Health, United States, 2007, table 136
5. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2007, table 7
6. National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cancer Health Disparities: Fact Sheet, 2005
7. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2007, table 42
8. CDC, Office of Communication (OC), Fact Sheet: Hispanic Health Disparities
9. CDC, OC, Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities, 2004
10. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2007, table 29
11. CDC, NCHS, Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use and Mortality, 2002
12. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2007, table 74
13. CDC, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD), Hispanic Health program: Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS)
14. Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD), Grantees Meeting, 2006
* The eight poorest counties are (in order from poorest to least poor):
1. Loup county, NE
        2. Arthur county, NE
        3. Mercer county, MO
        4. Edwards county, TX
        5. Starr county, TX

        6. Blaine county, NE
        7. Zavala county, TX
        8. Maverick county, TX

Bold indicates  Mexico border region.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County and City Data Book: 2000. Table B-8

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up


& Events

Section Menu

  red square Conferences
& Events
  red square Current
  red square Archive
red square  January
red square  February
red square  March
red square  May
red square  May
red square  Summer
red square  Sept/Oct
red square  November



OMHD Home | About OMHD | Sitemap | Contact OMHD
Accessibility | Privacy Policy | CDC Sitemap | Search | Health Topics A-Z

Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)

Please Note: Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.


  Home | Policies and Regulations | Disclaimer | e-Government | FOIA | Other Languages | Link To Us | Contact Us  
  Safer, Healthier People
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A.
  800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636), TTY: (888) 232-6348
  24 hours/Every Day - The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDHHS Department of Health and Human Services