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. Peter

    Will bang a mexican chick tonight.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. visnumaya

    There's a lot of them 100% esp. if you go to the City Hospitals of New York. Elmhurst hosp., Metropolitan Hosp. Bronx., Bellevue NYC, and the rests. Everything is free. Medical, dental, orthodontists, food stamps, a lot of schools are new here in the City of NY bec. of them. They have 3-5 children. I came to this country as immigrants but I did it legally. I'm a single parent, a Registered Nurse but, still I could not handle to have more children. Thick face and arrogant people. I agve my American Express to a sales lady and rolls her eyes. Too bad, I worked hard for that. I'm not a racist. It's just that Medicaid is doomed bec. of them. This country is not in the right direction.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You're right on the money with your comment, exactly, correct !

      July 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Comonsns

      The Mexicans are almost single-handedly financially draining this country......this country is gonna look like a 3rd world country in 20 years

      July 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jackie

    In my opinion, placing negative attention towards someone's ethnicity is not going to make America better as a whole. Some of the comments I read on here were hurtful to me, and I'm not of Hispanic origin. The problem isn't race, ethnicity, or someone's origin. It's the willingness of our country to pass laws that are equal and fair for everybody. Even worse, most of the negative comments I read were by individuals who consider themselves to be "adults". Racist mentalities and bigotry need to end if we ever plan to raise a better generation that will be leading this country after us.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sorry

      I'm sorry my friend, but other than immigration laws, which only apply to illegal immigrants, there aren't unfair laws in place towards hispanics. As I see it the problem is not that hispanics are becoming the majority, but that statistically they are less likely to graduate high school, much less attend college, much less graduate college. Labor and manufacturing jobs are continuing to disappear, and our government soon will have no money to help, so I believe the problem that must be addressed is the education gap, which hopefully could be solved by fixing our entirely terrible education system in the first place.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • evasp

      You're right, Jackie. I'm grateful for your posting. We have become such an angry country. There are a lot of misinformed people out there with very racist opinions.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Comonsns

      Jackie, you seriously need to get your head out of your rearend

      July 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      this has nothing to do with being racist. our country is broke! do you understand that? do you follow politics at all?
      when we pour money into illegals, it takes away from people who sweated to build this country. it's wrong. flat out wrong!

      July 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • fasdfa

      Comonsns – I think yours is so far stuck up your own that you should come out for air.

      July 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chuck Steak

    But how many of those births are from illegal parents?!

    July 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Comonsns

      99% of them.......this country is doomed

      July 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    And who said the "anchor-baby" phenom was not real. I would venture to say a large percentage of Hispanic births are by illegal moms whose children are now full US citizens.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • IEK

      I like how you just ventured to assume that. Guess that makes you right! Especially when most estimates place the total number of illegal aliens at 12M, and only 80% of those (~9.5M) are Hispanic. And only about half of those would be women, and not all of them in their child bearing years. So basically you're assuming that maybe 4M women were responsible for most of the births while the 15-20M legal Hispanic women had almost no children in the last 10 years. Sure, make total sense.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JR

    Anchor baby or no anchor baby, crossing the border illegally is still a crime! Arrest and deport the parents and give them the option of taking the baby or having it adopted out to an American family.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Comonsns

      Thats exactly what should happen.....but our "sell out" politicians would NEVER have the balls to do the correct thing like that.....we can thank our politicians and Preseidents for letting our country get overrunned and destroyed by these freakin Mexicans

      July 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sandeep

    India has 13x more people than mexico, so why does mexico get more LEGAL immigrant visas than India? That is not even counting the millions who sneak over border each year!!!

    HOW IS THIS FAIR???

    July 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • IEK

      Not sure what you mean. In 2005 India got 100,000 H-1B Visa's and Mexico got less than 20,000.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. evasp

    It seems that the stupid xenophobes posting on this forum need to polish up on their English comprehension skills. Although the article is one about the birthrate of Mexican AMERICANS being at the root of the population boom, these racists with poor English comprehension skills seem to interpret the article as stating that the root cause is illegal immigration. Oh, and while these illiterate xenophobes are taking their English comprehension classes, I would also suggest that they brush up on their knowledge of how our government and political system actually work. Their postings reveal how obviously ignorant they are of how the American system functions. I hope we replace every racist idiot with a beautiful Mexican American baby. Bring on the revolution. Viva la raza!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Comonsns

      The Mexicans are financially draining this country.....America will look like a 3rd world country in 20 years thanks to the Mexicans.....and that my friends, is a fact!

      July 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Yes, the system in Mexico works SO well. The government there wants nothing more than to have it's people flee to the United States so that it remains a problem here. It has nothing to do with Xenophobes. It has to do with common sense.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Hey Evasp, I hope every one of them beautiful Mexican/American babies finds a house on your street, embrace diversity will ya? Try posting another brilliant comment 10 years from now but you won't remember English by that time.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      drop dead!

      July 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      typical wetback mentality

      July 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. skarrlette

    They are patiently waiting for a visa because they over 7300 with a huge ocean in between. South Americans are attached to us by land.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Me

    If they are Mexicans, aren't they already Americans by definition? Or, has Mexico been moved to another continent?

    July 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Zero1020

    That's because the husbands FORCE the women to basically become baby factories. This is why you see Mexican women who are pregnant >all the time<. It's a traditional thing with the Hispanics I'm guessing. Pretty sad though.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GOP Hate America

    its because pasty white Christians get more turned on by guns than they do by making love.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jimmy

    I love how they put the picture of an indigenous child so everyone can hate. Trolls

    July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Comonsns

    The Mexicans are financially ruining this country......its too late to close the borders, there are 5 billion anchor babies already in this country.....America will soon look like a 3rd world country thanks to the Mexicans

    July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • evasp

      Yeah, totally! They're paying taxes and providing us with cheap labor so that we can go on living the American dream!

      July 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Steve

    So, they flee their own countries with unchecked birth rates, with no jobs or a way to feen themselves then they come here and do the same thing. And their children are GIVEN American citizenship? This has to stop, and one very big reason we will certainly go bankrupt. This doesn't come from being racist either. It's a matter of common sense and business sense. Show me one Latin American country than is able to sustain itself with these issues and I'll eat my shoe.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Will someone have to feen it to you?

      July 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
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