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. George

    This is a calamity for the United States. These people don't know how to keep it in their pants and all they do is have more and more kids and drain the welfare system. They don't even learn to speak English. Cut off all welfare for illegal immigrants, how are they qualifying for it in the first place? As soon as its determined they are here illegally, deport them !!

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

      You answered your own question. Immigrants are not qualifying for welfare. It's your good for nothing uncle and your lazy jobless meth addict of a brother who are sucking the welfare system dry.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matter OfFact

    One thing that is inaccurate in this report is that it refers to *White Children* supposedly in making a distinction from Hispanics. But as a matter of fact, Hispanics or Mexican-Americans are members of the White race (just ask any County Clerk or District Court)! There is no such thing as a Hispanic race. Hispanic is an *ethnicity* not a race. Therefore, when one refers to White Children, that must include Mexican-Americans or Hispanics if you want to be truly accurate. That distinction must be clearly made and the stereotyping must also stop.

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

      You make too much sense, no one is going to listen to you.

      July 15, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sofia Macias

    It is deeply saddening to read through these posts to find only the most rampant signs of blatant racism. How easy it is to let your true thoughts out when you are not standing in front of a real Mexican American macho that would put you in your place in a heartbeat. Cowards! Yes all of you "Americans" going off on Latinos and Latino-Americas- are simply cowards! Cowards are lead by fear and that is what you feel FEAR. How pathetic can a nation be when its men and women are driven by fear and not courage? You call that the American Spirit?

    Your FEAR and RACISM does not even allow you to be logical. Please refer back to the article and read it in its entirety, but this time try to be objective. The article's predictions and estimates are based on births not immigration. But I guess to your racist eyes there is no distinction, and you won't lose any opportunity to take free shots against a people that like yours has its good and bad apples. I am Latin, a first generation US naturalized citizen; an Ivy League Graduate, a successful professional. No I was not born to a rich family; in fact, when we first arrived my family was below the poverty standard.

    Nothing brings me more joy than to live in this beautiful country. I love the US- it is my nation just as it is yours and I can assure you that I like many more Latinos have represented this country better than some of you born here; who have yet to embrace the true American Spirit. Instead of worrying and fearing, how about you do something courageous? Are you the best American citizen you can be? Do you represent the values of this great nation? Just by the grammar and types of speech displayed in this forum, it is evident that you are not representing this country.

    In case you have not noticed, this is a pattern that will repeat itself over and over again, as long as there is life. First the British, Irish and German, then some scandinivians, Italians and Russians and so on. For the past two decades its been Latinos...It will one day be another group. And during each cycle the already settled communities will fear the newcomers, forgetting the discrimination, animosity and hostility they first encountered. All of you of Italian ancestry believe your forefathers were welcomed with open arms to the new land? How about you of British ancestry? Are you not aware of all your forefathers had to fight with Native Americans to get a "piece of their land"- to the point were Native Americans have been marginalized in their own land. Are you afraid of being marginalized by Latinos and Mexican Americans. Don't worry you won' be. There are way to many human rights laws that will prevent any brutal colonization these days.

    In a way its normal to fear, but you have the choice to not FEAR and embrace the fact that what has made this country so great has been immigration. No other place in the world has the diversity of this country. You have the choice to worry about your life, your business, your family. If you are so afraid of Hispanic birth rates…than get to it and start procreating babies of British, Irish, German, Italian and Russian descent! At the end, your white skin blue eye kids will be just as Americans as my tan skin brown eye children. Don't be part of the problem be part of the solution.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      Why is it racist to want your government to enforce its immigration laws? Round up the illegals and their anchor babies and send them home.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thereisnogod

      Truer words were never spoken.

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

      If they were Born here


      July 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark B.

      Uh... Ms. Macias...that would be LEGAL IMMIGRATION, not border crossing and birthing an anchor baby. What these people do is a CRIMINAL act and threatens the sovereignty of the United States. You call me a a coward. I call you a thief. Stealing benefits and freedoms that others have fought and died for. YOU should be ashamed.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thereisnogod

      Jim in Texas
      You speak like a true redneck Texan. But luckily racists like you are a dying breed.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • dead61

      yeah well since the hispanics infested my city all crime has gone up and property values have gone down

      July 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ok

      Thereisnogod, dont speak out of ignorance

      July 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      There is no immigration law in regards to what you call "anchor babies." Anyone born in the United States is an American citizen, regardless of their parents' immigration status. To believe you are somewhat more deserving of anything, including American citizenship, for doing exactly what these children did, which is be lucky enough to be born in a country as great as ours, just because they are of Mexican descent, is racism.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Great Speech

      Bravo! Except for one thing. Italians are Latins too, let's not forget!! And it is not only our Anglo people who have blue eyes and blond hair, many many people in Mexico and of other Hispanic origins have natural blond hair, blue eyes and are very fair skinned. Those with the Indian extraction of course have the more tanned skin. But I realize what you are saying and you are absolutely right! I just had to make this distinction, however, in what you were saying. Bravo to you! By the way, those *Latin* countries include Italy, France, Spain, and Romania for the record therefore, making its residents Latin, not Anglo.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Jim, the Hispanic / Latino community, La Raza and others claim racism each and every time this issue is brought up. They use it as their ammunition for protest of enforcement regulations such as SB1070...all while SB1070 simply copies the already in place Federal Statue. Why do they scream racism you ask? It is because it is the only thing they can do to pull at the heart strings of Liberals in an effort to support their cause.

      When it comes down to it SB1070 and similar bills are all in place to enforce the rule of law that states you must enter this country through legal means. The fact of the matter remains the vast majority of individuals entering this country are of Hispanic, mainly Mexican descent and as such enforcement of the laws will be targeting them. They caused the issue yet now they don't want the attention except to cry racism.

      I for one could care less about who immigrates to the U.S. as long as they do so by legal means, become a citizen, lean the language, pay taxes and do not commit crimes. However sadly many do just the opposite. People can't seem to get it into their heads this is not about is about laws. End of story.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      Jim, get used to it, they will be soon be America's largest minority, down the road you might be the minority and then maybe they'll be asking you not to have any babies & go home, wherever that might be

      July 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      Well said. Thank you.

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


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

      it's "you're"
      just, yknow... if you're gonna call someone an idiot, at least do it in a way that doesn't make you, yknow...
      look like an idiot?

      just sayin


      July 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose

      I thought it was, “you are an idiot” therefore being, “you’re”. Oh wait… YOU’RE (I forgot the CAPS). I Hope my 2nd grade grammar teacher was right.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • EnglishSpeaker

      Hey Nativist,

      That should be you're with an apostrophe which is a contraction of you are. Please don't use the incorrective possessive pronoun, especially when you are shouting in all caps.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alley

      It's YOU'RE THE IDIOT!! I HOPE YOU'RE NOT WHITE!! not YOUR THE IDIOT!! I HOPE YOUR NOT WHITE!! You just disgraced yourself. How do you expect others to speak English when you don't even know grammar? I'm of latin origin but obviously more educated than you. I hope you feel ashamed right now!

      July 15, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. patty

    we need them to work on farms .. all my affluent friends have them as cleaners, yard workers... we need them for that...but we don't want them to have here.....may be we can start the slavery system... bring them in chains ... kill them after use.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ohhh Patty Patty

      You sound like true trailer trash. Luckily while you're sitting in your trailer I'll be sitting in my wonderful upscale suburban home. In fact your trailer could probably fit in my bathroom. People like you disgust me but thankfully I don't have to speak with YOUR breed (trailer trash that is).

      July 15, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ummm

    well... 42% is still a freaking lot. I'm sure 42% of new Caucasians or African American's are not immigrants. I honestly don't care about immigration being from Alaska but this article is 100% spin.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow Ummm

      You do realize that Alaska is a state of the U.S.A right? Therefore there are no immigrants from Alaska because they're considered citizens. Wow you must be blonde!

      July 15, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. J G

    Should just "fix" all illegal immigrants.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. realnative

    Filthy? ? Wow just read what u typed and you'll see filthy. None of them work?? Like 100% of them don't work? Are blind?? Yes u must be

    July 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. George

    Sterilize their women now !! Quickly, before we become one gigantic barrio.

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

      George its too late. The only solution is to CARVE out a new nation out of USA, where SUCH people will not be allowed to enter. Or else, we are basically staring at DOOMSDAY !!

      July 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    Sounds like the movie Idiocracy...

    July 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Naveenananirada

    Beginning of the end of America. These folks have palpable disregard for moral and civic values.

    Any country will defeat USA when these folks will be UP in numbers, which is bound to happen in the next 20 years.
    USA will become like Nicaragua or Dominican Republic!!

    What a waste of a great country !!

    July 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Well....

      Sorry to break it to you but this country has been going down the drain since before Latinos started "invading" the U.S. It's been on the decline since the 70's and it has a lot to do with education. Get your facts straight and learn the truth before you cry some more.

      July 15, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Vince

    Put a cap on gov't benefits...that'll stop all the foolishness...say 3 years...if you can't become legal and/or find a job in 3 more benefits...and no, having more babies will not increase the benefits...

    July 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBP09

      If you are illegal you do not get benefits so what you are proposing is actually more generous than the current system.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jayne

    I work in an OBGYN office in an area of the country rife with Mexican immigrants . Our waiting rooms are full of very young Hispanic women and very , very few have insurance .More and more ARE NOT married. It's not uncommon for these women to be under 20 and be having their second child. I think it's too easy in this country to squeeze out a kid and have the government support you and pay the bills. This is not limited to Hispanics though. Lots of young couples decide to not get married so the mother can collect more. It's really quite unfair to those who live responsibly.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    Slaves have never had to pay taxes or pay for healthcare. That goes for illegally imported slaves as well. (not just the ones that we are becoming. what next? healthcare for all the like Americans would fall for that old trick)

    July 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sagebrush Shorty

    The Pew report obviously did not study my area. There are many, many more non-English speaking adults than there were 10 years ago. Perhaps that's where all , or at least a good portion, of the anchor babies come from. This report is inaccurate and biased in my opinion.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
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