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. justme

    from birth...really?? as opposed to the rest of us

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

    The way this article is written shows that America has a serious problem with dumbing down! Only through massive live births does a population will increased drastically! Basically the increade in Hispanic population through a combination of more live births and the generous WIC program and childrens' medicare contributed to the increase.
    The anchor children gets free WIC, prenatal and post natal care for Mom and babies with good nutrition helped many Hispanic babies survive births unlike their counter part in Mexico
    These programs for the anchor babies needs to be addressed and serious looked at in our efforts to reduce the deficit!
    Just do the math: 31 cans of formula/month at approx. $7/can= $217/birth and multiply that to millions you get the picture?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wisco


      July 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ok

      wisco, they grow up to suckle at government programs and drop more litters, just like their parents.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DEW

    bg71 there no way i want to learn to speak like you, you are a smart donkey and i bet your as dumb as a boxs of rocks, i hope you can understand what im saying, if not live with it donkey

    July 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Wow...criticizing someone and calling them dumb...all while your own grammar is a complete mess. Way to make yourself look like a fool.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • rahul

      my guess is the entire prospect of learning a second language would be too ambitious a task for you anyway.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chris

    Wait, they have lots of babies? When did this happen?!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robbie

    Hard to use birth control when you can't even spell it!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stockton

    Duh !

    July 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bill liveley


    July 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. realnative

    Cant we just all get along...

    July 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. youestupido

    if you can't affrod birth control, you can't afford children. Thus stop procreating and go back to mexico, procreate there all you want!.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Aaron in texas

    the african americans said the same thing 50 years ago

    July 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Common Sense

    What are you trying to say, Momof2? That white people are dirty?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • missmis

      yeah white people are dirty. i work with them. they just leave dirty dishes around waiting for someone else to clean it up.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cherries

    Sounds like Michigan's heading in the right direction. Imagine how everyone would throw a fit if they put a time limit on welfare, or heaven forbid, a limit on the ammount of children.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ok

      Manditory sterilization works as well. If you cannot take care of 1, you shouldnt need 2.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • rahul

      as long as it also applies to uneducated, racist white people, sure.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • dalis

      Mandatory? So much for pro-"choice".

      July 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • linda

      I absolutely agree and believe in mandatory sterilization. We are becoming a nation of IDIOCRACY- god forbid we wind up like that movie, but I am afraid that is what we are headed for with no initiative from anyone to 1] tackle childhood and {their parent's} obesity 2] educate EVERYONE on this planet, and that should not be left to choice, that should be mandatory 3] no birther rights 4] no unemployment for more than 12 months- get out and do something to scratch together a living 5] absolutely! no welfare after 4 years or we take your kids away you lazy mongrel. I am all for taking care of the sick, the widowed and the truly poor, but not Baby Mills, drug addicts, and pure laziness.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthbeTold

      1. We force you to get an education!
      2. We should mandate that you can NOT breed with your sister!
      3. We should ban you from being an internet thug (a tough guy on the internet)
      4. We should send all the extreme right wing nut cases such as your self to an island and name it Imbred Kingdom!

      July 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig Thelonius

      Learn to spell and structure sentences, before you call people "Imbred".

      July 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daddy

      That what you call a typo! Don't be such a self-righteous loser!

      July 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      Let's sterilize bigots like you... we're likely to gaing from it

      July 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • peace

      god does not forbid

      July 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • average mom

      If you listen to the core of what most people posting, the anger isn't about race. It is about hard working legal Americans paying taxes to support lazy Americans and lazy illegal/legal immigrants. I could car less what country they are from if they work hard, pay taxes, and don't reproduce like rabbits than I welcome you. Unfortunately, our govt. thinks we should take care of every lazy schmuck (american/legal/ or illegal) who can get off their butts and support a reasonably sized family. I want more kids, but can't afford to have them, partially because of the taxes I pay to support well fare/anchor babies. So you can understand my frustration.

      July 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • lori

      Hey average mom did you have less than average education because one if you care they weren't talking about anchor babies these are mexican americans having children get it straight and they are alot of lazy legal americans in welfare you were right on that part at least . but i don't understand why america is funding other countrys military and finally stopped this year it's costing our country to much money and blood for other countries that hate us why not pull our troops and focus on fixing our broken economy and not on the middle east for a change i think we should focus on that instead of tearing families apart who only want to work as the same as any american i mean how did america begin ? It was a country of immigrants in the beginning because we were not here first it was the native americans

      July 15, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • mdb56

      I have to agree with you – I think that is the crux of the problem. We now have so much govt in everything – if you dont have a job, the govt has to pay for it, If you cant rive, the govt has to find a way for yoyu, if you cant read English, then the govt has to pay for yoru reading English or special Spanish school, if you cant pay for food, the govt has to give food stamps... Hey, whatever happened to hard work, ingeunuity, etc.. In the olden times, it was all your problem AND thats why the country grew.. If you cant find a job, its not the govt's problem; do something, develop skills or too bad, you just rot... If you cant speak English, bad luck... Let us get the govt out of all things, except Defense... And I am a Democrat (or am I?)!!

      July 15, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Gina

      Thank you "Average Mom"! It's so nice to see a reasonable response to such a charged topic! I agree with you whole-heartedly, and seek to instill the same values in my own family.

      July 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • whydowehave2gothere?

      Thank God for people like you, Average Mom! You took the time to say what I was thinking..because the last I checked there were people of ALL types receiving welfare...I am Hispanic and am NOT on welfare...I hate that people think its only hispanics and African Americans...where I live we actually have a pretty large amount of" white" people on government assitance programs...and I believe that it is the goverment in need of major reform..I fully support drug testing before benefits can be received and fact checking. in my town it used to be that if you were illegal the only assistane you could apply for was for that of your citizen children...illegal children were not covered...they need to become tougher on people committing welfare fraud!

      July 16, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • chopsuey

      Excellent post average mom!!

      July 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • micky blue

      could not agree with you enough, this apathetic way of dealing with things is not going to do your country any facours, i'ma young Australian black male, i saw idiocracy, and more and more it looks like Americans are heading directly toward that way of living.
      mandatory Education, no unemployment for more than 4 years and tackloing obsesity, all of this shopuld be adressed and as soon as possible! the future for America is bleak, and its getting dimmer by the day..

      July 15, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • iopo

      Yes, the hell with democracy, lets be like the Nazis and focebly sterilize people. You sound like you would be happier in North Korea, Myanmar or China.

      July 15, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      I agree with you 100%

      July 15, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Maire

      "or a limit on the ammount of children" Sounds like you'd be more comfortable over in China.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C.

      Yes we are. While the southern states have to deal with the Mexicans and their anchor babies, we have to deal with lazy, ghetto blacks. I'm so happy we passed welfare reform here. Hopefully that will be enough to push them out of our state.

      July 15, 2011 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brian

    Well duh! There are some elephants in the room we don't want to talk about. One of them is religion. Priests are telling Catholic peasants they will go to hell if they use birth control.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • cgouyonnet

      yeah, so they have more little kids to molest.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dennis

    My family came from Ireland and Germany. My german great grandfather came here learned english and fully embraced America. His love for this country surpassed his love for Germany. As long as legals come here, pay taxes and learn to speak english I have no problem with anyone.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Job

    I say give them California, Arizona, Texas etc. Just like they lived in Mexico and live in the US they will live like pigs in those states too. Then they will be crossing over begging again like they do now!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
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