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. Wisconsin

    First off the data is off by over 5 million and no one knows how many are coming across border illegally & they are not talking. The American Mexicans adamantly protect these illegal’s. They are great people but they care less about America. Their history books say they lost the fight but not the war. There is popular belief they are coming across in mass numbers to quietly take us over. They are the only culture that refuses to assimilate. Population control should be our #1 priority. There is only so much food, water & oil that can be harvested from Earth. Don't forget about the human pollution. The phrase you cannot but 10Lbs of potatoes into a 5Lb bag is how I feel about the # of people in America.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bellabiv Devot

    1 illegal Mexican male + 1 illegal Mexican female = 2
    1 illegal Mexican male + 1 illegal Mexican female + x number of anchor babies = >2

    Birth numbers being larger than immigration numbers shouldn't suprise anyone, and definately is not proof of a weakening illegal immigration problem.

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

      Yep..come across the border and drop the baby..and voila: We have a new American Citizen we get to; feed, house, clothe, medical care, school, and while we pay for the activity of such a scene. Keep the babies coming..we will care for them, no problem..we love everyone.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JustThinkinOutloud

    Good thing I find Hispanic women attractive. Oooh, mama-cita!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Time Bandit

    I can see this country penalizing those who do have kids, if they can afford to pop out kids then they can afford to pay more taxes. As for Hispanic births on the many of those are from illegals? Illegals know if they come here ready to pop a kid, the kid gets gov't aide/support because it was born here. So illegal mommy stays here for free and gets free housing, child support, WIC and food stamps until the child reaches 18, is it fair to expect Mr. & Mrs. Taxpayer to pay for that? NO! My opinion, after mommy illegal pops the kid, ship them back across the border where they came from. If the child is born to an illegal, the child is illegal regardless if it was born in this country.

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

    there tough at a young age, as soon as your 15 pop out a kid and the american taxpayer will pay for everything.there 5 girls who are illegal living next door to me, the oldest might be 18 and everyone of them have 3 kids, they can't even take care of 1 but they keep popping them out.there like rabbits this is why this country going broke, do the samething you do to animals have them fixed.if not welcome to mexico

    July 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bg71

      I think the bigger cause of our country going broke is due to uneducated people like you. Please learn to use correct verb tense, and the difference between there, they're, and their.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sajara

    Unfortunately, 'visnumaya' "muchacha" does not mean housekeeper. Congratulations on your BSN but you should probably be working on becoming a little more culturally competent especially if you intend on working in the medical field. Apparently Uncle Sam is paying the wrong person's salary. SMH

    July 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. evasp

    Oh racist xenophobe, go take an economics class. You obviously don't know how this works. Don't blame the migrant laborer looking to support the family, blame the greedy American farmer and consumer who thrive off of cheap labor so that we can keep our food prices down.
    Viva la raza!!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      What?!!! That is rediculous. That is like blaming the homeowner for having too nice a TV when somebody steals it._I think it is u who needs a lesson in economics. You obviously have never balanced a checkbook. Illegals and theair brood are a direct drain on the economy, period. There is no benefit from this so-called cheap labor. We might get cheaper burgers, but the increases in taxes are more than 5x the savings. Get a clue and get out. If you re so proud of your heritage, why did u come here to begin with?

      July 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Facts

      Only 2% of illegal aliens work in agriculture. Over 7 million illegal aliens have jobs that Americans want.

      We need to make use of the free everify program mandatory for every single employer, and to require proof of legal residency for every government benefit other than emergency medical care (which should then be reimbursed by the alien's country of citizenship). Return our jobs to United States citizens and to the immigrants who followed our laws.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ziggy

      That old excuse of ." they are just coming here to work and feed their family" ,is a bogus excuse and isn't true anymore . A majority of the illegals coming across the border are coming here for other reasons like ,looking for a free ride from our government,street gangs ,drug courier.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sandeep

    Bobby Jindal for President of USA!!!

    Nikki Haley for Vice President of USA!!!

    No rewards for LAW BREAKERS!!!

    Highly skilled LEGAL immigrants only!!!

    Jai Hind!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. James

    They should be sterilized....

    July 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ziggy

    This still relates to illegal mexicans in this country.This article just says that for every illegal that gives birth in our country ,that just adds one more illegal to the total number .

    July 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JerseyAnn

      Wait, I thought that if the children are born in the US they automatically become citizens. Am I correct?

      July 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stevo

    Considering that illegal immigrants get practically everything they need from the tax payers just for having kids in the country where in other countries they would get hard time in prison for illegal immigration, I'm surprised its not higher.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Goldie

    The newest way to make a killing in the online world is here.

    Do the rich want you to know about it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

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    Google the term "SIMPLE STOCK CASH" and click the very first site. Go right to the penny' stock page to see what the rich do not want you to know.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ffc8

    Wow, I really hope Hispanics legal or illegal would consider education more seriously. Otherwise, this country would be a hell hole just like Mexico and South America. However, having 6-7 kids make it extremely hard. God bless America. Also, the argument that Mexican was here before other immigrants group is completely stupid. It is like saying stop building more houses because dinosaurs used to own this land.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Education rates in Mexico are rising dramatically. Living standards in Mexico are rising dramatically, even taking in account the horrific internal drug war they are fighting. I'm not completely sure if these factors are related, but they may well contribute to the current plummeting rates of Mexican migration to the USA. Again, the article states a Mexican-American birth rate in the USA of 2.5. The birth rate in Mexico today is also is in the neighborhood of 2.5. Please don't let yourself get confused by the facts! Where do you come up with "having 6 or 7 kids makes it hard." That phrase is unrelated to facts upon which policy should be based.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. momto3

    And they needed a study to show this? Really? Come on down to Texas and all you have to do is look at the schools and you will find the pregnant hispanic teens. The hispanic culture is to procreate. No birth control here.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Samuel

    interesting to see how many of illegals use federal and local gov money to feed thier children and what is total cost to support them

    July 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Facts

      You can find those statistics by googling numbersusa or the pew hispanic center. The costs are staggering.

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