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. evasp

    So what do YOU think an American looks like?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ask a Mexican-American

    I'm a Mexican American, 26, from immigrant parents. I don't have kids, I don't have a disease, I don't collect welfare, I am not in any government program. I worked hard and sacrificed myself to be successful like anyone else. Yes, my parents came to the United States in the early 80s, but that does not mean they are leeching off the taxpayers or any other generalization all you people are making. They worked just as hard as anyone else and are now proud business owners, home owners and naturalized American citizens. I am a proud Mexican-American and dislike all the stereotypes on here. There is no "plan" to become the majority-stop being so paranoid. One day there won't be any Mexican-Americans or Asian-Americans or African-Americans...we'll just be what we really are–Americans–because this country is so biratial that one day it wont matter who your parents are, we'll all be mixed (just tell my illegal Mexican uncles who have married white women). P.S. I am sure there are lazy, leeching Mexicans in this country-just as there are Black and White lazy leeching people too. STOP STEREOTYPING.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MEXICAN TAXPAYER

      AGREED!!!

      July 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron in texas

      even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then, you are 1 out of 1000 buddy. But congrats and props to you, you are the example many mexican americans should strive to duplicate. Maybe it is just a south texas mexican american thing, but i doubt it.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angélica

      Thank you! I too am a Mexican-American, 34, educated and without children. We are not a myth we do exist and if you'd pay attention we are quickly rising in numbers.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Wow this article is full of CRAP! STOP STEREOTYPING!!! Statistics also show that the higher percent of people collecting welfare, unemployement and other types of government assistance are "African American and White" so what do call them?????

      July 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • bard

      Amen brother Ask...people are people and no race or gender has a monopoly on vice or virtue...

      July 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Salvadorian-American

      Completely agreed! Its unfortunate of how, we Latinos, are discriminated against. Me being 1sy generation in the United States makes me a proud man, especially of how my parents arrived here illegally in the late early 80's, and became proud successful business owners & naturalized citizens. And i do hope more and more Latinos take advantage of the educational system by getting a degree. That's EXACTLY what I'm doing and soon hope to be an advocate in helping my fellow Latinos across the US and ESPECIALLY, in my home-state, North Carolina. Born and raised in the South, proud American, also, PROUD SALVADORIAN. 🙂

      July 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MIke

    Wow, population growth occurs through the births of children?! Stop it! No way! I thought they were dropped off by a space ships or just magically appeared.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      I thought they were delivered by storks... who knew?

      July 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. If I had "white pride"....

    ....tattooed on my arm, like the "brown pride" tattoos I see everywhere, what do you think people would think?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redman

      I would get no too... sounds great !!

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

    Gjhhj

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

    As a Presidential GOP Hopeful 2012 I propose a flat income tax, for individuals it would end filing and make it 8.25% paid qtrly by the employer. This group of future wage earners would be most welcome in the U.S.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. david massey

    This cancer from south of our border has now killed California and turned it into Mexifornia. It's all downhill from here. We are broke. It's not just the babies and anchor babies, but the criminal minded thinking that they posess. Our schools, jails, hospitals, and welfare offices are jammed with these uneducated people. Our gov't gave this country away to a near 3rd. world country decades ago.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JerseyAnn

    PRESIDENT OBAMA, WE NEED TO CONTROL THE BORDER. This is getting out of hand. Just a thought from a Hispanic!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angélica

      Wow no self respecting, educated Latino would call themselves HISPANIC. Learn your own history.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • G

      Did you even read the article? The rise in population is due to BIRTHS not immigration. Dang.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. average mom

    As a tax payer and parent, if can't afford the kids don't have them. I would love more kids, but not more than I can afford to pay for. I don't expect others to pay for me to pop out 7 kids, I damn sure don't want to pay for their kids. We have too many illegals, and too many illegals who do nothing accept take from broken system. I have nothing against mexican' or other latinas, but if are illegal go back where you came.

    Point plank, our country can't afford to support them. It's too bad and we are sorry. But this is our country our home, we pay the bills. If you aren't paying the bills (taxes) than you should go back to your home because this isn't it.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • bb

      And why not, having exponentially too many babies has worked wonders in their home countries.These people came here for a better life and then once here they make the same mistakes that has devasted their lifes in Mexico,Latin America ect.These people never learn,until nature lends a helping hand for population control. the Planet cant take the Hispanic or muslim birth rate!!!

      July 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Z

      Where does it say they can't afford their kids? It is ignorant to assume because someone is part of a certain group they must be a certain way. Stereotype.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Z

      Just one more note. For the majority of the people that you keep getting categorizing, this is their country too. They know no other counrtry. They grew up here and believe in ideals of democracy and equality our country promotes. So when you say our country who exactly are you including in your "our." This land belongs just as much to them as it does to you.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lou

    Everyone thinks that the history of the United States begins with the Mayflower in 1620; WRONG!!!!!! go back to St. Augustine, FL which was first explored in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León (a Spaniard, not an English man) until 1821 the when Adams–Onís Treaty peaceably turned the Spanish colonies in Florida over to the United States. Even after all that, the only one's that can claim the U.S. as theirs are the Native Americans.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • jessica1229

      I may not be a "native American", and my family were immigrants, but my family immigrated legally. They worked as farmers and on the railroad. They paid taxes and while they had hard times they did not over produce offspring that they could not afford to feed and provide medical care for.

      There are many people of latin descent who are in our country legally, who work hard, pay their taxes and support their families.

      Our system is broken and needs desperate reform, and we cannot continue to carry the burden of illegal immigrants (from any country) and those citizens who continue to abuse the system.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. average mom

    I am happy to hear about immigrants who are legal, working, supporting their family, and have embraced being American. I just think they are the exception, not the rule. \

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

      You're wrong. Get out and meet some people.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron in texas

      you are right

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

    The nation of Mexico has never really been able to import their own slaves, so the have babies like crazy. Americans, on the other hand, have and can afford to maintain a population of slaves whose 'owners' give them free healthcare, education, welfare assistance, etc. just as has been done throughout history. The vaerage free black man owned 10 times as many slaves as his average white counterpart did. And even he saw to it that his slaves had healthcare and didn't have to pay any taxes. Nothing has changed. never have slaves been required to pay for these things. Go pick your own cotton and herd your own sheep if you don't like slavery, don't just stand around whining about it. sheesh

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

      It seems to me the issue is really more religious. Unfortunately 95% of the Mexican population is Catholic and against contraceptives. The results are obvious. The Catholic church loves it as it increases their numbers exponentially whilst keeping the people poor, ill educated and easy to control. Another reason organized religion is an epic failure to humanity.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cherries

    Sounds like its time to start putting birth control in the drinking water.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TskTsk

    Keep it up, contraceptors. If you want America to persevere, replace the population. Otherwise, get your burqas ready.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Amazed

    Wow birthing increase population, who knew?! Top notch reporting as usual.

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