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. jack

    This country is clearly falling apart...bye bye U.S.A. I think its time for me to move somewhere else....soon enough this country will be flooded with latinos and crime rates will go out of control....good luck for the ones that stay behind....

    July 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |

      We are glad that prejudice and hateful people like you will leave America, god loves you

      July 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enrique

      I suggest Serbia. I believe you would love it. They are mostly blond arians and are very successful at suppressing minorities. Pity Germany gave up that final solution. Oh well...

      July 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • RTB

      Crime rates are at a 40 year low, but don't let facts get in the way of your bigotry.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cpc65

    They needed to waste time and money to figure this out?

    July 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cinna

    Ok, not ALL of the hispanics are of illegals. Yes, illegals are an issuse, but there ligiment children born by ligimently LEGAL hispanics. I am a US born citizan from US born citizans & have 2 children froma guy that is mexican AND legal to be here in the states. So to all of u white power people need to shut the hel! up cuz pretty much all of u white people came from a line of illegals yourself (ie many traveled here many years ago and made/founded this country and made it their own long before any of us were near a thought). There are illegals, of white apperance (from canada, europe, etc) yet not a single one of them gets the attention of a brown person. Why? Because their race or whatever you wanna call it dont show like those of a darker skin tone. Yes, my childlren go to school, yes english is their main language, yes ive paid my taxes into the welfare prrograms as well as their 'father.' So before you lump them all into one large group, you need to know all of what you're talking about, as natural US citizens (male and/or female) are having children of hispanic decent. Learn/know your facts all mighty white race before you judge ANY of us of a darker skin tone, for we are all not bad people, illegals or terrorists. There are still real, honest, hard working people of all colors just as there are white people that are both good and bad. Amazes me that you see so many negative remarks towards darker skinned people and so few if any of whites. So tell me, who really is the better of them all? Whites or people of color?

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

      Well OK Cinna, so glad to hear you and your family are here legally...but here's hoping YOU aren't responsible for teaching your children their English grammar and spelling...good grief! As far as my relatives are concerned, they can across the Atlantic and landed LEGALLY on Ellis Island–they did it the right way, they LEARNED ENGLISH and didn't expect a handout and they worked HARD. They assimilated into this country and while they may have held onto some traditions at home and spoken their native italian language at home, when in public hey communicated in English–BIG DIFFERENCE from the Mexican wave of today.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Monty Python

    How can I see my last post...this comment section is weird in how it displays logical order at all....

    July 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. leonardo

    The government should limit the amount of children they can have. It is all a business for them. More kids means more money. They think by having more kids they won't get deported. Its understandable they have high fertility rate but we all agree more than 2 kids is more than enough.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TruthbeTold

    I hope the Hispanic's continue having more children! Perhaps it will help rid this country of the UGLY redneck, imbred, illiterate, welfare hicks from this country that think incestual offspring are superior! Many Mexicans and other Hispanic people are as much European in ancestry as the nast imbred hicks that continue to make racisit comments on these boards! However, most Hispanic's coming to this country are the ones who are mostly of Native American descent! Hence, the Native Americans have been here much longer than you or I. Please people, be more concerned with the content of the persons character and not with the color of their skin. Racist people are only doomed for misery, while incorrectly believing in their White superiority! Not even knowing what White is!

    July 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. paul callaway

    really, never would have guessed that hispanics haveing baby's would cause the hispanic population to rise. thanks cnn.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John B

    Now I understand why Michigan put a 4 year limit on welfare.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stace

    Our government is counting on this group to pay for the retirement of the baby boomer generation. It's all planned, widely anticipated and quite possibly the reason our borders remain so open. If our economy doesn't hurry and get better, our politicians will probably re-consider border closure so these people don't try to go back home.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      So, your claim is that the illegal aliens are contributing to Social Security and Medicare? Fascinating that people with no Social Security number can contribute to that system.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stace

      Many of those here illegally are paying taxes because they are using false SS numbers. They contribute alot more than we realize. Read up on it. It's interesting. The illegal Hispanics will eventually become legal residents and taxpayers. They are presently thought to be over 11 million strong.

      We are one of two countries which will not suffer the consequences of a workforce aging faster than it's growing....only because of the Hispanic growth.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bitnar

    The article is saying the Hispanic population grew, not the illegal population. Hispanics have NOT made the US a "toilet" as someone else posted. That is so highly offensive and inaccurate. Narrow minded jerks.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Though I agree it's offensive

      I have a question: have all states effectively removed the possibility of anchor babies. The population of illegals hasn't grown, perhaps, but part of that is because the babies are all legal if they're born here, no? I'm not sure. I'm just asking.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      The article mentioned that 52% of the Hispanic population counted were illegal aliens, of those, 68% had live births.
      THAT said, they'll either migrate back AND cease migrating in when the low paying jobs that they currently hold dries up, as those jobs ARE quite limited in number.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      actually the article does state that it took legal and illegal into account.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • DumbAtheist

      illegals came here and had several "anchor babies". Fact! This is an immigration issue.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • stefan

      You are mistaken, the increase in the hispanic population has and is bringing down the class level in parts of the U.S. The general behavior of the hispanic community, whether it be the low class mentality, lack of desire for education, the dealing of drugs, gangs, single mothers with many kids and so on and so on. Those who work hard and try to live an honest life in the U.S., are now having to deal with this infestation of low life.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Capitan Justicia

    We are the future. Somos el futuro.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miguel

      Yes, you probably are. At one time, "you" were the future of Mexico. Look how that turned out.

      I love it when people act like some certain ethnic group taking over will make America a better place. Stupid. The more we separate ourselves, the more we differentiate groups of Americans by their ethnic origins, the faster this country will plummet.

      We have a common language for reasons beyond "racism." It revolves around infrastructure, getting emergency services in a timely manner, etc. The solution always seems to be "hire more cops, paramedics, dispatchers, etc. who speak Spanish."

      Yes... let's just get separate departments for anyone who needs their "country of origin" taken into consideration. Anyone know any paramedics who speak Chinese? That's the next big wave. 🙂

      Americans. Let's realize that's what we are. "Melting Pot" is a place where many different ingredients come together to form ONE COMMON THING.

      The origin of each ingredient is there, but in the end, if the dish doesn't come together and form the one thing the ingredients are all there to serve, it'll just get tossed in the trash.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. larry

    Funny how mexicans are complaining about americans being racist for not wanting them to come here illegally, but they themselves and Mexico use force to keep people from crossing Mexico's southern border. Me thinks there's a double standard there. Oh yeah, go home illegal's you're not welcome anymore. And yes I am of American Indian heritage.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • LuvmySS

      You got that right...

      July 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • realnative

      U must be mixed with white??

      July 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • chuckmartel

      Instead of just deporting them, the Mexican police really do a number on the Central Americans they catch .Mean by any standards

      July 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Freshies

    No more anchor babies, we need an amendment.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • LuvmySS


      July 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBP09

      There is no such thing as anchor babies. Having a baby in the U.S. does not allow you to immigrate here yourself. That is a complete misconception.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kenneth T. Tellis

    Why blames Mexican-Americans for doing what comes naturally? In rge Holy Bible God said go forth and multiply! They are thus heeding GOD's word, and no one should complain about it.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      Go fall off a bridge.

      July 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chuckmartel

    A study was needed for this obvious reality? The old school Mexican immigrants were a real plus to this country. Now we have taken in millions of the ones the old school ones were running away from. Likewise for the Central American crowd. They have gone from improving California to almost destroying it.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
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