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Last modified: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cinco de Mayo in Indiana: Facts about Hoosiers of Mexican heritage

May 4, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Tomorrow (May 5), millions of Mexican-Americans will celebrate their heritage with a major holiday that simply is known for its date, Cinco de Mayo.

Here are some facts and figures about Indiana's population of Mexican heritage and the state's economic relationship with Mexico from the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Many coming to the fiesta:

  • Indiana was home to 259,300 residents of Mexican descent in 2008. This number accounts for 4.1 percent of the state's total population. Residents of Mexican heritage account for 10 percent of the U.S. population.
  • The median age of Indiana's residents of Mexican descent is 24.4 years, compared to 36.8 years for the Hoosier population in general.
  • More than 7,000 Mexican-American Hoosiers are veterans of the U.S. military.
  • Sixty-one percent of Hoosiers of Mexican heritage were born in the United States, and 54 percent of Indiana's foreign born residents of Mexican origin entered the United States before the year 2000.

On the job and job creation:

  • Thirty-two percent of Indiana's population of Mexican heritage, above the age of 16, worked in production, transportation and material moving occupations in 2008. An additional 23 percent worked in service occupations and 15 percent worked in sales and office occupations.
  • The median household income for Indiana's population of Mexican descent was $36,750 in 2008, compared to $47,966 for Indiana as a whole. Twenty-five percent of this population group lived below the poverty level, compared to 13 percent for all Hoosiers.
  • There were 3,200 Hoosier businesses owned by people of Mexican descent in 2002, according to the most recent statistics available. These businesses employed 3,850 people in 2002 and registered more than $405 million in sales.

Indiana's Economic Ties to Mexico

  • Indiana companies exported $1.8 billion worth of goods to Mexico in 2009, making it the state's second-largest destination for exported goods. This figure accounted for 8 percent of Indiana's total exports.
  • Industrial machinery was Indiana's top export commodity to Mexico, accounting for 30 percent of the value of all exports.
  • Vehicles were the second-largest commodities and accounted for 23 percent of the value of all Hoosier exports to Mexico.
  • Other leading Indiana export commodities from Indiana to Mexico include iron and steel, electric machinery, and pharmaceutical products.

It is important to note that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's equivalent of the Fourth of July. The holiday commemorates the Mexican Army's defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexico's Independence Day is celebrated on Sept. 16 and is considered that country's most important national patriotic holiday.