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. The Informant

    Lots of miserable people here. I've health with many people and I'm convinced everybody sucks. Lol

    July 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOB

    What! lol. Mexicans and Blacks have more in common than you think. Please stop posting.

    July 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Donnie Brasco

    @lefty: The Europeans were bad, but so were many natives. I wonder how the natives would have felt if the Europeans demanded the natives take care of the pilgrim's babies?

    July 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DJB

    Shannon, you know very well what I meant, and I AM Native America, so your "point" is pointless.

    July 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angry (Insert Color or ethnicity) (Insert Gender)

    Rabble rabble! Whine whine.. Cry Cry..

    July 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AZemployedmother

    Seriously, let it go.

    July 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rachel

    All you are so brave online, go on, get to typing – that's all you can do, type and cry! Real men huh? Brave outspoken women huh? Only online, only online...such cowards!

    July 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Angry (Insert Color or ethnicity) (Insert Gender)

    @real native: Was that before or after the human sacrifice, or head shrinking?

    July 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • realnative

      what are you talking about?

      July 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. txrbt

    So ... it's not a stereotype, it's a fact? 🙂

    July 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kiki

    the problem is the United States needs to change the 14th amendment no one gets a free ride especialy for one who butts in line then demands rights.

    July 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marco

    So...lemme get this straight. The Hispanic population in the US is growing due to BIRTHS? Well ho-ly sheepdip! Who'da thunk it??!?! People being born increases a population? NO WAY!!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Maya

    That's a laugh. The hispanic and black people are more racist towards each other whites are to either at this point.

    You want to be anti-white? Fine. Stop using a computer. It was, after all, invented by white people.

    July 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. oscar

    Change the 14th Amendment now !!! and you will see the first results. I work hard to pay my taxes but not for the hospitals to give them free baby delivery, food stamps etc etc fill our schools our hospitals our social services.
    Besides they will NEVER be able to make this country grow for the they have no EDUCATION,!!

    July 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gliese42

    There will come a time when Europe and the Americas will be run by middle easterners and Latinos. The Arabs like the Latinos have faith in god who told them be fruitful and multiply

    July 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnLI

      The plague was caused by overpopulation and filthy living conditions.

      July 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Serg

    reader10, you are assuming. you probably have never been to Mexico, you dummy

    July 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
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