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. Alicia

    Pierce, ask why hospitals close and put Amwricans out of work. In Denver one of the biggest OB depts. Close because of illegals and anchors. It was located in a large anchor corridor, and this is not a myth.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      You're out of work because no one wants to employ you or your friends. How is that illegals' fault? You're obviously ignorant to believe that it's all their fault and not the crooks in Wall St. They don't take jobs, they are given jobs. Most Americans are uninsured or underinsured, that's the reason for hospital closures.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miquel

      "I am a Medical Social Worker at a hospital in S Texas and I can state
      that in my 12 years here tens of thousands of illegal alien women have
      come through here in labor and deliver the child. mom is very happy and
      asks about food stamps, WIC, Section 8 Housing, and TANIFF. Much to my
      disgust I have to link her up and she gets the next housing unit due to
      being a single parent with newborn, wheres the Father? this knocks anyone else on the list
      down and these would be Americans who are old, disabled and so on who
      may be on the list for years. The childs Social Security number is used
      by mom and that in itself is a crime. mom gets on behalf of the now
      citizen child roughly $700 in welfare, not including the free to maybe
      $20.00 a month arpartment or house. The hospital bill of course goes
      unpaid by the illegal alien, Texas taxpayers get to pick that tab up.
      As a licensed professional I am obligated to report crimes so I report
      everything to Immigration Services who rarely have done anything.
      Last year alone this cost our hospitals and Texas taxpayers just under
      $221,452,119.09 according to our accounting/billing department
      statements and that is just for labor and delivery and does not
      include other hospital services."
      The Supreme Court heard the arguement over 100 years ago regarding
      borthright citizenship and ruled it is correct if the parent is
      legally employed and residing in the country, otherwise the child
      born is not a citizen. An illegal alien is nneither employed nor
      residing here legally so there should be no birthright citizenship
      for their Jackpot/Anchor Babies.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Punisher2001

    I am appalled by the comments on this board. We have forgotten how to treat others well and how to have a reasonable discussion. Are we really this uncivilized?

    July 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rachel

    Your hate and ignorance only makes us stronger, united and proud!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. john cale

    If Mexico (and its culture) is so magnificent – why are you all fleeing it? If the Beverly Hillbillies taught us anything – it's that you can move 'em to California, but they'll just sap all the resources and bankrupt the state. Oh – wait, I must have gotten my facts twisted.

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

      Not only CA is not doing well, the entire country isn't recovered from Bush's mess. Who said Mexico was so great, the culture is, but the country, not really. Do you undermine other countries' cultures because of the poverty level? Stupid posting, really...

      July 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miquel

      California has been a sanctuary state for many years this is what that experience has gained them by being generous.--
      On the verge of going bankrupt with an astounding $26.3 billion deficit, the nation’s most populous state is considering saving hundreds of millions of dollars annually by cutting monthly welfare payments to illegal immigrants. That’s why California officials, extremely generous with tax dollars in the past, are trying to find a way to eliminate welfare payments to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants. The move, which has caused outrage among the state’s powerful open borders lobby, would save a much-needed $640 million a year.
      An example of who the state cuts the monthly checks to is an unemployed 43-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico who gets $650 a month for each of her four children and about $500 in federal food stamps and other vouchers. That = $3100 in AID given to raise the Father’s kids. Where is the father? Why isn’t his pay figured in? These illegals are not puportedly married. Most are not married officially.
      Its still chump change compared to what the state spends—between $4 billion and $6 billion annually—on schools, jails and hospitals for illegal immigrants. That doesn’t even include other local government costs such as police and fire, road maintenance and other public services.
      The biggest chunk—$2.3 billion—goes to educating about 300,000 illegal immigrant children at public schools throughout the state. California expects to spend around $834 million to incarcerate nearly 20,000 illegal aliens in fiscal year 2009-2010 and well over $700 million to medically treat close to 800,000 illegal immigrants.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BOB

    Mexicans are Working Jobs US Lazy Americans Dont want. When the economy crumbles, then they want to run back to low paying jobs but complain that they are being held by mexicans. Pathetic! Migration of Mexicans in the 1930's? your an idiot! Mexicans Have populated the south west since The early 1800's RETARDS. Do some research Fools. Spanish colonial Period, besides even befor that, south western states consisted of indigenous indians/Mexicans. I hate Stupid people.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnLI

      yeah we get it Bob you are a Republican

      July 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WeAllHumans

    People.. We are all humans.. and remember there's Bad White,Black,Hispanic,Asian People in this world.. but also Great People too. I have friends from many places and I know how different we are.. but that don't mean that one race is better than other. I know Hispanic form everywhere and I can tell there completed different cultures and people.. so why we Hate.. when everyone in america came from the old world?

    July 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Adam Adolph

    There are many who I see that are against amnesty, and want true immigration reform. But there are also many who are spewing racial venom and not articulating a worthy position of reason for this debate.

    Comparing Mexican-Americans to rats and rabbits, is racist, and not accurate. Mexican-Americans are a very vital part of what this great country is. If you look at the sheer number of Mexican-Americans in this country, that is enough to know that they are a part of a large portion of the free market. Whatever preconceived notions, or prejudice views you may have, the culture.. and history of this people, is engrained hand in hand with the United States of America. It is ignorant to even deny this fact.

    Whether its in the form of NAFTA, acquiring states like California, (which is one of the largest economies in the world), or Cohesive military policy in the war on drugs, and nuclear armament... Mexico and the United States share a common goal, and border. Understand the demographic, instead of spewing racist babble, not backed by facts, and emotionally charged by propaganda and ignorance.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Souix/Cheyenne Girl

      Please read your history books – California was an outlying territory that Mexico wasn't interested in and sold it the the US. Please be advised that California was only part of Mexico for 20 years. Also please take a look at Alavera St. in Los Angeles, and the founders of LA were mostly black, and not mexican.

      July 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      Wouldn't it be nice if we could strip all the overheated emotion from this issue and simply decide what we want from immigration,then craft a policy that makes that happen?For all it's dismissed there are jobs many,if not most,Americans won't do.Look at agriculture in Georgia.Many of the illegals who were farm hands have left following legislation similar to that of Arizona.Those jobs are going unfilled because no one will take them.Even convicts refuse.We need reform that seperates criminals from people who simply want work and we need a cettain amount of those willing to do those jobs.

      July 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Some Reality Check

      At the end of the day it is our nation and government fault for not implementing and "enforcing "our own laws that would prevent all of these loopholes from occurring. And we love to play dumb when we obtain benefits. If you believe in the a State of Law that creates a civilized society o It is against the law to obtain benefits when it was not followed. ONLY grant citizenship to the offspring of individuals with legal status. Do not provide food stamps and free healthcare after the first child is born, otherwise you are just creating a vicious cycle; Enforce The law and track down the users of false social security #'s......and business owners- Stop hiring and saying "just buy another green card at the corner". Problem solved.

      July 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOB

    America has seen a decline in the past 5 years of illegal mexicans anyway. Mexicos economy has risen since then as well. They are definitly not running away from it. If anything they are running back to it. Even its educational system is Advancing since the 2009 collapse of the U.S. economy. It's pretty sad how you also Talk down on MEXICAN-AMERICANS. Though they have decended from mexican peoples they are still AMERICANS. How can u say you represent a nation of unity but turn around and ridicule some just because the are Part of a certian ethnic background. Hypocrites! the American people only points the finger when it is convenient for them.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. amy

    i don't care what your race, ethnicity, language, religion, etc... is. the planet is overpopulated and whoever is here in 50 to 100 years, is gonna be in a world of hurt. STOP OVER BREEDING and make sure there's enough resources for everyone.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnLI

      agree...china and europe seem to get it the rest of the world is not thinking too much especially Hispanics

      July 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. eperez

    the infighting will only create one thingbin this country. open your minds and your hearts, its hard to stop people who don't have a choice. its hard when you know of the american dream just north. everyone deserves a chance, people are just people and are going to make it the best way they can.there is a big drain becuase of the abuse of out social services, but its there. as long as people can do something to make their life easier they are going to do it. as much as you people talk about working hard and not taking short cuts thats true to a degree. remember some people are not that strong, it could be brown, black, white. education is the key, love is as well. the mexica have a beautiful culture and a glorious history thats part of the USA. i can hate with the best of them, let's try to be open before we commence in civil war.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Proud Mexican

    Well thought and organized Adam. Nice input.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZemployedmother

      Why not proud American? Why proud Mexican? Are you a Mexican national?

      July 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jake

    In other news, Hispanics need help feeding their kids. If it weren't for the American tax payers, all these births wouldn't be possible. We're feeding these kids, paying for their medical care, all so their parents can take jobs away from the poorest Americans.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BOB

    no, reading this bord just shows how Racism is alive and well in America. Actually On every continent there was a major Empire until the white man came. Even Africa!

    July 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Miquel

    Please Congress modernize our 14th Amendment as needed sorely by:

    "The United States is one of only 30 countries that grants automatic citizenship to practically anyone who happens to be born here. No European country confers automatic birthright citizenship (the three that once did — Britain, Malta and Ireland — ended the practice in recent decades). The overwhelming majority of nations follow the concept of jus sanguinis (Latin for "right of blood") in which the citizenship of the parents governs the citizenship of their children."

    There are two conditions for American Citizenship referencing jus soli citizenship – birth on US territory and jurisdiction. Consider that for a second. The only people not subject to US jurisdiction are diplomats and Native Americans while on reservations.

    By failing to further constrain the terms, it creates a blanket grant for any child born in the US save those of diplomats and Native Americans (which Congress rectified via statute in the 1920s). We have seen this and understand how its use has drained our good will and pockets.

    Jus soli is a pretty dated concept and likely should be eliminated altogether in favor of jus sanguinus, with the stipulation that the criteria may be adjusted as necessary by Congress.

    To clarify clarify these principles – jus soli = of the soil. Citizenship based on place of birth. Jus sanguinus = of the blood. Citizenship based on the citizenship status (i.e passed through the blood) of the parents. If your parents are illegal than the child is a citizen originating with the parents Original Citizenship---This is the modern practice and eliminates the mess we are in-Anchors away pleeze--America needs to float right again and free itself from the reastraints of an outdated Amendment that people have exercized –THEIR FREEDOM -to abuse the
    Freedoms of America .

    July 14, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BOB

    Miguel, California is ran by idiots and i'd ask you to please refrain from lending further idiodic thoughts that your little brain is able to produce on this forum. Thank you my good sir.

    July 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
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