By the Numbers: Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is already behind us, but it’s never too late to correct the mistaken impression in America that it is celebrated as the day of Mexican independence. Mexican Independence Day is actually celebrated on Sept. 16 to mark the battle cry against the Spanish colonial government that was issued on that day in 1810, by a parish priest of Dolores in Guanajuato state. His call to battle, known as Grito de Dolores (or Cry of Dolores), is repeated by the president of the republic on the eve of each Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of a vastly outnumbered Mexican army against 6,000 French troops in the town of Puebla de los Ángeles on May 5, 1861 (although Mexicans won the battle, the French won the war and occupied the region for five years). Unlike the Sept. 16 independence day, Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday in Mexico, and is probably more celebrated in the U.S.



The year the margarita was invented by Dallas socialite Margarita Sames (thank you, Margarita!).


33.7 million

The number of U.S. residents of Mexican origin.


70.5 million

The number of pounds of avocado Americans eat on Cinco de Mayo.


$3.74 billion

Year-round sales of tortilla chips in the U.S.


$12 billion

U.S. sales of tortillas – or the bread of Mexico – in 2014.


$531,118 billion

The value of total goods traded between the United States and Mexico in 2015.


Sources: U.S. Census Bureau,, California Avocado Commission


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