Births, not immigration, account for most of Hispanic growth in last decade
Mexican-American women accounted for 16% of the nation’s births in 2008.
July 14th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

Births, not immigration, account for most of Hispanic growth in last decade

Births have overtaken immigration as the driving force behind the growth of the Mexican-American population in the United States in the past decade, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The same can be said for the entire Hispanic population of the United States, which grew from 35.3 million in 2000 to 50.5 million in 2010, accounting for 16.3% of the U.S. population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. About 58% of that growth resulted from births rather than the arrival of new immigrants, the report says.

The trend is most evident among Mexican-Americans, whose numbers grew by 7.2 million as a result of births and 4.2 million from new immigrant arrivals in the past decade, reversing trends from the previous two decades, when the number of new immigrants matched or exceeded the number of births, the report says.

Mexican-Americans are the nation's largest Hispanic group,  at around 31.8 million, or 63% of the U.S. Hispanic population and 10% of the total U.S. population.

In the Pew report, the term Mexican-American applies to people of Mexican origin, regardless of immigration status. The study noted that in 2010, 52% of people of Mexican origin were in the U.S. illegally, and that 68% of births to undocumented aliens were to Mexican nationals.

What's behind the change?

Mexican-Americans are more likely than U.S.-born Americans to be in their prime child-bearing years, and they also have higher fertility rates, the report says. Another significant factor is a steep decline in Mexican immigration to the United States in recent years.

Hispanic births accounted for 25% of the nation’s newborns in 2008, the report says, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. U.S. births are also disproportionately Mexican-American. While 10% of the nation’s population in 2008 was Mexican-American, 16% of the nation’s births were to Mexican-American mothers.

White children in the minority in 10 states

Meanwhile, the number of new immigrants arriving from Mexico fell by 60% between 2006 and 2010 because of declining job opportunities in the U.S., increased border enforcement and economic growth in Mexico, the report says, citing a previous Pew Hispanic Center study of Mexican immigration trends.

Age and fertility explain the high share of births among Mexican-Americans, the report says. On average, Mexican-Americans are younger than other major racial and ethnic groups, with a median age of 25, compared with 30 for non-Mexican-origin Hispanics and 41 for whites.

Mexican-American women also have more children than their counterparts in other racial and Hispanic origin groups. The typical Mexican-American woman between 40 and 44 has given birth to 2.5 children, compared with 2.3 children for the typical same-aged Hispanic woman and 1.8 children for the typical same-aged white woman, according to Pew Hispanic Center tabulations from the 2006 to 2010 June Fertility Supplements of the U.S. Current Population Survey.

The Hispanic share of the population is projected to rise from 16.3% in 2010 to 29% by the middle of this century, with the bulk of the future increase driven by births rather than the arrival of new immigrants, the report says.

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Filed under: Census
soundoff (1,115 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Hey, WASP boy–wake up and look around you.
    Get to it.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      "WASP boys" are part of the multicultural fabric of American society, just as hispanics are. And you'd be surprised how many "WASP boys" are part of hispanic extended families and vice versa. You know, Americans do marry each other and have children, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews, grandparents and grandkids... We must stop drawing arbitrary boundaries on race. Genetically, race doesn't even exist!!!!!

      July 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JB

    I'm tired of this punk guy Justin. I'm gonna get him, talking trash bout my mama n sister. I'm sooo angry.......I'm bustin his face. Don't mess with the NYPD little punk.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lemmy

    I wonder why? That just makes the issue even worse. Illegal citizens' children should not be granted citizenship in the United States.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • WG

      Exactly my thoughts. Of course the births are the reason the Hispanic demographic is growing, they GOT CITIZENSHIP OUT OF IT!

      July 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CoffeePartyMember

    If the government allows amnesty, which I think is the most irresponsible thing to do, and plus the high fertility rate of Latino, would drain this nation of all its already depleting resources in education, social securities, etc. No amnesty. Enforce federal and local laws against illegal aliens in our country.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I agree with you, but our only course of action is to turn these babies into American babies. Who cares what their lineage is, as long as they embrace America and participate in our society as Americans. Let's get them educated, teach them english, and get them employed so they can pay taxes and contribute to social security. They will be one of us. Many of my American hispanic family and friends don't speak spanish, they never wanted to and never will. They are simply too busy being American. And growing up I didn't even know there was a difference. That view was all imposed on us non-hispanics. So to be clear, I agree that illegal immigration is a problem and I don't support Amnesty in any way shape or form. But that is because those immigrants are not American and not interested in integrating into our society, not because of their so called race.

      July 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    They come here to get free medical care for childbirth, to start with.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • FN2807

      Wait a second... free medical care? where?
      You gotta be kidding me...

      July 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HRH banasy

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out...

    July 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • david jame

      very true

      July 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cherries

      Well apparently it does because the problem is not getting any better.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • sweet_genius!

      No but it does take someone smarter than a politician.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jazzzzzzzz

    Hey banasy. How ya been? I never did understand the concept of half a person. 1.5. 2.5. Etc.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tmm


    July 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jer

    Of course its births. Its all the illegals having anchor babies so the actual taxpayers can pay for them to live here.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hitler

    I see a lot discrimination

    July 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      It is called Americans versus NON Americans.

      July 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      You really only see it online, in real life, most are scared to have a discussion with us, the educated Latinos. And it's not Americans vs. Non Americans either, it's the informed are pretty much aware that attacking the defenseless is just not going to fix anything. We have to enforece border patrol, penalize those who knowingly employ illegals and/or stop exploiting them. It's educated/informed v. uninformed/ignorance.

      July 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nate

    Births yes, but very directly effected by immigration. Many immigrants come here and have 5+ kids who all immediately become citizens.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sir Gaga

    No amnesty!
    But we must comprehend that massive deportation would cost millions of dollars to the U.S. economy. Additionally, times are changing and we have to accept everyone. Let's get them educated so that they too pay taxes.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      Pretty stupid thing to say.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Actually, that the most sensible thing to do along with securing out borders. They are here, lets find out who they are, have them come out from the shadows, stop the exploitation.

      July 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    Here in Colorado Springs, an illegal Mexican woman went to our city hospital to have her child delivered for free. The child was born mentally retarded, and so she hired a slick abagado(lawyer specializing in sueing people) who sued the hospital. She was awarded 700,000 US dollars and could have waited until the child's 18th b-day to file the suit under our current laws! Her abagado is even sueing the Federal government for, get this...NOT stopping her at the border! lmao... "Land of the Free" is real.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sy2502

    And the rest of us gets to pay for these kids!

    July 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • WG

      Yup, this coincides nicely with out debt ceiling.

      July 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    Time to poison this pest.

    July 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
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