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. Overgrown

    O man. So Manifest Destiny trumps all others huh...

    July 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jason

    epic win for religion and republicans! they've listened to you and refuse to have abortions. LOL gj guys

    July 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Oh for Pete's sake!

    Always so sad how these kinds of articles tend to expose people's true feelings, and they are generally not very nice.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. steve

    this is totally out of control. let's be honest people, this country is on the verge of bankruptcy and while it is the land of the free, there are conditions that you must meet to enjoy that freedom. i blame obama because he is spineless to put some real teeth into this problem because he doesn't want to offend the legal hispanic vote. that is nonsense. one city after another is broke and is laying off and this is only the start. see what michigan did today? welfare 4 years and you are off it. no questoins asked. we can not continue to enable the world. people really don't see what is happening. but I remind you that the real citizens of this country are going to pay, big time because there is not enough $ to go around as we try to take care of the world!

    July 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lil' Dictator

    Makes me long for the days of the Cold War. The United States' boogeymen back in the day were communists. Now it's Chinese, Muslims, and Mexicans. It's a field day for xenophobes.

    But let's be serious here. The illegal immigrant population is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Immigration is all fun and good until people take shortcuts and face little retribution.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. just saying..

    Black people are worse... the more kids they have the better thanks to their welfare checks. I'd rather see more Latino babies than black babies.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marv

      I'd rather they kill each other off in gang fights since the kids will just grow up to join gangs anyway.

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

    And the number one past time of hispanic families: Going to Walmart at midnight with the whole tribe in tow. Shopping is not family recreation.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jnyc

    hmmm how many are anchor babies?

    July 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBP09

      None because there is no such thing. Somebody needs to learn what is actually in the laws of our immigration system instead of listening to rhetoric that spurs hatred. The false concept of anchor babies is something that is a pet peeve of mine. Having a child in the U.S. does not allow you to stay here... thus no "anchor" exists.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. missmis

    We could sterilized most of you in this thread and our future would be SO much brighter. Hateful, ignorant and disgusting.

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

      An East Indian colleague of mine said his people will out produce you 4 to 1. That seems true, as I have not seen an Indian woman under the age of 60 that is not carrying.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Veronica

    For those who are blaming religion for the population explosion..think again. I personally know hundreds of Catholics who practice birth control. It's more likely Macho Mexican men who refuse to wear a condom.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • realnative

      Then they are not true Catholics that believe & live the life of a Catholic person.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You are both right to an extend. But culture is a large part of it. It's no secret that people in more advanced societies have fewer kids. You don't need a lot of children if you know all of them will survive to adulthood and if the family doesn't need the labor of 10 children. But larger problem here is that no matter how many kids people have (regardless of cultural background) American taxpayers will always take care of those children. This is a problem in every community, however, we can't send American citizens anywhere, we can try and send the Mexicans back.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dalis

    I'm a white American, but after hearing all the trolls squawking about how the Mexicans or some other undesirable group have TOO MANY BABIES, I suddenly CAN'T WAIT to be a minority in this country.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teri

      Huh? You already are a minority...

      July 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veronica

      You want to be undesirable?? Wow!

      July 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pancho

    You have the good and descent god fearing people reproducing as the good lord intended, while you have the so called white peoples killing their seed, by massive yearly abortions- how is this a blame on the Hispanics..

    July 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • realnative

      thank you! PROLIFE!! GOD also intended us to love each other.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      So then we can send you the bill for the education of their children and the health care our emergency rooms have to provide for the illegal immigrants? "As the lord intended." Spare me your krist kult nonsense.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • FKjeff

      Dear Jeff are u stupid enough not to read the post??!!! and the comment...most of the growth is by AMERICAN BORN HISPANICS =]

      July 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rardo

    Is this not the dumbest headline ever...population increase due to birth's...you don't say!!

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

      Seriously. As if that makes it any better. No one who opposes illegal immigration thinks the hike in Mexicans is due to anything but new borns. Does that mean there is less of a problem? NOT AT ALL!

      July 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    O please. To all the people who suggested that getting rid of the blacks would better the country, you need to have your head check. Let me remind you guys that was your white ancestors who used Blacks as cheap practically free labor. Then after they were freed, you guys treated them like poop and segregated them into projects. The same thing is happening to Mexicans now. They are used for cheap labor and are treated like crap, yet we expect them to to stop having kids and go back to their country all while segregating them. The Dream Act is an excellent program that will only benefit america.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Either you're from Maine, North Dakota or a complete idiot.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      The Dream Act rewards criminal conduct of the parents by conferring benefits on their anchor babies, as does the abuse of the 14th Amendment that confers citizenship on the children born of their parents' criminal activity. People do not have a right to break into my home and them demand a seat at the table and a guest room for their many, many, many children.

      July 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veronica

      Blacks were always free to go back to Africa..but they didn't for the same reason Mexicans want to come here. America is the land of opportunity...I mean was the land of opportunity. The blacks & Mexicans have turned it into a toilet

      July 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • bitnar

      Veronica, sounds like you spend a lot of time in the toilet.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • RTB

      Veronica, you're free to go back to wherever your ancestors came from if you believe this country is a toilet. Blacks didn't "go back" to Africa because after 300 years, we were thoroughly American. And having provided the cheap labor that fueled the undustrial revolution, we thought it made sense to stay and finally enjoy some ofthe fruits of our stolen labor. If you don't like that, Europe awaits you. Good riddence.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. larry

    it took a study to figure it out? heck they breed like rabbits

    July 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
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