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. G

    God probably got tired screwing three people in raw and that is why you got 2

    July 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Souix/Cheyenne Girl

    Ever heard of divide and conquer? Every time someone posts anything about illegal immigration there is someone who acts as an antagonist and starts racist comments. Could be a group like La Raza – which means the race, be behind this? My comment is Spanish is not a native language; coming from Mexico does not qualify as coming from a unique Native American race of people. It’s crazy! All the above comments are based on misinformation. Unfortunately there are people who actually believe the banter. All these posts do in the end is blow smoke and not talk about what the real issue is. Which I guess is a means to an end!!!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chicagoguy

    there are just too many people. The numbers keep rising.
    birth control should be available for everyone. Hispanics aren't alone here. the impact on communities is vast when the birthrate overruns the ability to sustain it.
    We need education to lift those communities up and keep them from remaining a
    hindrance to the nation.

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

    1.) catholics

    July 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    I wish god would command these locos to wear condoms.

    July 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adriannee

      We are so lucky your father didn't, right?

      July 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe Texweb

    To some Hispanics, young girls are following the foot steps of their mothers. Here in San Antonio, where ever I look in the streets, malls, etc. I see young girls pushing baby strollers. Most of them after graduating high school, they get pregnant, collect welfare checks. I'd happened to talk to one of those young mothers, and they said, well, my mom had me when she was 17 yrs. old. So sad to see before these teen girls reach 20 yrs old, they have one or two kids already.

    July 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alicia

      After graduation? In Colorado they start at twelve, you do the math. And beleagured American taxpayerspay and pay. They have no shame, no morals, just spread them 24/7.

      July 14, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nery

      Well, Keep them coming, they will be the voters of the future. So we can elect our president.

      July 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jason

    Say what you want, but until someone stands up and takes a stand against Anchor babies, that picture at the top of this page IS the future of America no matter how you see it. Anglo-Saxons are becoming the minority, and the Hispanic/ Mexican/ Guatemalen and whatever other South American country that fits into that category is continuing to grow and wont stop. It's NOT Asians, Germans, Africans, Middle Easterns, Italians, Norweigans, etc that are overrunning this country. Point is they are and will be the majority and things are already looking grim, and that's a fact!

    July 14, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Javier

      What a racist comment. No wonder you are so scared about your place in the new demographics. Let me tell you that those babies are preventing this ... country going to the drain with your aging population, eager to collect their ss benefits. Illegal immigrants and those babies are going to support those decrepit old and wasted citizens. You are so lucky to be born after so many contraceptive methods. You should be ashamed of those comments.

      July 15, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • lori

      Did you not read that its mexican americans not illegal mexicans having kids so they arent anchor babies

      July 15, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. bIll

    How many are taken back to Mexico by their parents? What is the actual percentage of these babies on public assistance, such as Medicaid or WIC? I'd say it's a greater percentage than most other minorities..

    July 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nery

      Well Bill, I am not complaining, I am actually happy about it. We, all hispnics combined will be able to sway presidentilal elections in the future. I am happy about that.

      July 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matthew

    I have to say I don't particularly believe this story. Surprise surprise, the Pew Hispanic Center discovers that illegal immigration is not, as it turns out, the cause of the huge surge in the Hispanic population. I hate that I have to doubt the objectivity of the researchers, but the organization has a decidedly vested in obtaining the "proper" conclusion. It's the same with drug companies today – 3 studies that show a beneficial effect for the drug get published, but the 12 that show that it's harmful somehow disappear. If the a right-leaning think tank had come to this conclusion, then I might be more apt to believe it, but, with the sate of propaganda in American politics, I unfortunately nearly always doubt whenever a study from a left leaning advocacy group reaches a particular conclusion that just happens to serve their agenda, the same as I do whenever a right wing panel says, for example, that there is no evidence of global warming whatsoever. It's a sad state of affairs we have in this country when data can be doubted depending on the agenda of whoever is conducting the "study."

    July 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. D Grant

    At this moment internment camps are being built in the southwest so either they will be sent off to war or be shipped there, welcome to America anchor babies.

    July 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan Watson

    Since la familia changed their name to the Templars does that mean we can expect they will be fighting a holy war to escort their pilgrims to the Holy Land of America?

    July 14, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ron Paul 2012!!

    Interesting! Zero mention of the 14th Amendment????


    July 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tom118

    "Excessive growth caused by births." Well, DUH!!!!!

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

    One word.......Quinceañera. I have some friends who's 15 yr old daughter became pregnant the night of her Quinceañera, now she's 17 with two kids. They also have 4 other children that are OLDER than this daughter that live at home!!!! Maybe the culture needs to change, I think a bit of education is in order. If I go to France I have to speak French and learn their customs/courtesies/traditions, why not here for our immigrants??

    July 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Javier

      Dumb comment, and let me guess... ahhh, you vote. What a waste of human being.

      July 15, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Where do I say anything about voting? Dumb reply, waste of my time.

      July 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    If it's illegal and it's caught, prosecute it. Unless over half of the people are doing it. In that case, make it legal for crooked ranchers to drug their cattle and make them fat. Overturn laws regarding sodomy and cave-in to the masses. Make illegal immigration legal. Move along people... enjoy your own luxuriant dung.

    July 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
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