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. Mike R

    Someday, people who don't know spanish will be deported. Manifest destiny, anyone?

    July 15, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Philip the Marlowe

    We are all here illegally. At least that's what Earth's lawyer would claim if we were ever sued for damages done. But you folks don't think along those lines, do you? No? So the thought of the Earth sueing YOU has crossed your mind? Huh. I thought it was an ~Marlowe~ original. thought. So what did the jury decide in YOUR case? I was found innocent on behalf of the fact that the most wonderful girl in the whole-wide world! is my lovely daughter Leah. What got you off?

    July 15, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Serg

    awesome!!!

    July 15, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Scarf

      Anchor baby growth needs to be terminated.

      July 15, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Serg

    the only real americans were slaughtered by the real maggots

    July 15, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • nate

      I hate to break it to you but in most parts of the world, many of the inhabitants are not the original ones. Don't act like the Americas are some special case.

      July 15, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. generalizationsarebad

    This article seems designed to incite racism and animosity toward Mexicans. if you look at the numbers, 1.8 children among white mothers is a declining population with none to support the aging population. The pragmatic course is to work with the Human beings that are on hand and help them become productive members of society. The article doesnt mention is, but african americans are also a declining population. Poor immigrants from any country are a blight unless we allow them the space and the means to integrate.

    July 15, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • eville_11

      when you see 52% are illegal, yeah, that might make some people angry...

      July 15, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • generalizationsarebad

      The difference between illegal and native is less than 2 centuries. The difference between illegal and just unwanted is not more than century. Can't forget that Irish and Italian immigrants didn't have the welcome mat rolled out for them. And the mexican people definitely don't have the welcome mat rolled out. They have to fight tooth and nail to move up in society.

      July 15, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • JohnLI

      Well duh, who says we need more people than we already have? Unemployment is at 10% in case you don't read the news. China has had a 1.0 child per family law in place for many years.

      July 15, 2011 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Random

      Why do people push the idea that America’s population is getting older and we need to support them with a large younger population to support them with labor? Why are we not pushing for automation? I thought that we were trying to control our population, not pack us together like sardines in a can.

      July 15, 2011 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
    • DON ELLIOTT

      WHILE SO CALLED MINORITIES CHOOSES TO GIVE BIRTH, WHITES CHOOSES TO MURDER THIERS IN ABORTION. KEEP IT UP AND WHITES WILL BECOME THE MINORITY.

      July 15, 2011 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel Wischkaemper

      The cost of the illegal aliens.. AND their children, is far, far greater than their contributions to our country.

      July 15, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
    • chefdgan

      I don't care how many babies they spit out as long as they stay in Mexico. Hispanics will eventually ruin this country if we don't stop them. We need to secure our borders and ship them back to where they belong and it sure as hell isn't here!

      July 15, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. what1ever

    You're a pleasant person.

    July 15, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. C.C.

    Quit having babies just trying to increase the mexican population cause everybody knows there is power in numbers.Just having a bunch of kids and really not being able to take of em is wrong.I don't care what country you are from.We have enough problems in this country now we have got to take care of and illegal immigration is one that needs to stop.I don't care who its hurts its an invasion on this country.

    July 15, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • generalizationsarebad

      now you're hitting on the problem. the mentality of ignorance is a world problem. poor people in every slum overpopulate. But because the world takes a selfish stance everywhere you look. problems persist. that's not to say that the impoverished don't add to their own misery. its cheaper to educate than to support. and it should be unconscionable to watch people suffer when it is within the worlds means to end a lot of suffering.

      July 15, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    • DON ELLIOTT

      I WOULD THINK THAT THE REAL AMERICANS (THE INDIANS) SAW IT THE SAME WAY YOU DO.
      BUT THAT DID NOT STOP ANYTHING DID IT.

      July 15, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel Wischkaemper

      its cheaper to educate than to support. and it should be unconscionable to watch people suffer when it is within the worlds means to end a lot of suffering.
      ---------------
      Our own.. and we have abandoned our own. As long as we continue to take care of the poor Mexico is sending north, we will continue to abuse our own. Detain.. Deport and then lets take care of our own country.

      July 15, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Fr33th1nk3r

    Whether their population is exploding out of control due to them crawling under fences, or crapping out babies like they are in a baby-making derby (like Octomom), the problem still exists. Pretty soon, there will be more people collecting state benefits than contributing, and common sense says, if you keep pouring out the contents of the jar but not putting anything back in, eventually it will be empty. Right now, latinos account for 6 out of every 7 illegals in this country (as per the U.S. Immigration website) and costed U.S> taxpayers some $147 million in uninsured medical costs, schooling, and other benefits that they have no ethical or legal right to be collecting. Buit of course, we cannot cite telltale facts like that lest we offend somebody... Sad, political correctness is being abused in this country to provide hiding places for the lazy and unwanted and our own love of individual rights prevents us from seeing this simple truth. How can we find an answer to the illegal immigration problem if we are not even willing to acknowlege that a problem exists?

    July 15, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Yodaddy

      that amount in benefits is nothing compared to what the white population account for.

      July 15, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Texas teacher

      You sound like if you are referring to the entire Mexican-American population as a whole in the first half of the comment. Then it seems as if you change your focus to illegal immigrants. Which one is it? I happen to be a 4th generation Mexican-American teacher in Texas, and I by no means appreciate being stereotyped into your ignorant comment. You make it seem like just because I happen to be of Mexican origin that I am someway a part of this "problem" you are describing. Maybe in your town you have a large number of illegal immigrants, but that is not the case for everywhere. There happen to be numerous Mexican-Americans who contribute and have contributed a great deal to American society. Pick up a book on Chicano studies if you are lacking in that part of American history.

      July 15, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
    • S.A. Texas777

      I have to agree with "Texas Teacher". There is a difference between Mexicans and Hispanics.

      July 15, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Hey TEXAS TEACHER.

      Its YOUR PEOPLE INVADING "OUR" COUNTRY! Quit acting like its OUR fault! He is STATING FACTS and you just proved his point. If you mention the facts, somebody gets offended. If your fourth generation American then YOUR AN AMERICAN whether you like it or not and YOU SHOULD be offended that MEXICANS are destroying YOUR COUNTRY by invading it, they are robbing us blind, destroying our culture, taking our jobs, they are spitting in YOUR FACE TOO BUDDY! Or are you more concerned about the country becoming mostly MEXICANS to suit your on selfishness?

      July 15, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Hey TEXAS TEACHER.

      Its YOUR PEOPLE INVADING "OUR" COUNTRY! Quit acting like its OUR fault! He is STATING FACTS and you just proved his point. If you mention the facts, somebody gets offended. If your fourth generation American then YOUR AN AMERICAN whether you like it or not and YOU SHOULD be offended that MEXICANS are destroying YOUR COUNTRY by invading it, they are robbing us blind, destroying our culture, taking our jobs, they are spitting in YOUR FACE TOO BUDDY! Or are you more concerned about the country becoming mostly MEXICANS to suit your on selfishness? Sounds like it.

      July 15, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. don quixote

    I hope this article makes it clear to the Hispanic and Latin Communities, that they are lovers not fighters. So with that same passion create a better world, where violence exists only to those who have a passion for death not life.

    July 15, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Thomas Cain

    Like so many conservatives that are horrified at the thought that someone lighting up a joint and watching cartoons is having a better time than they are are after a lifetime of money worship and hoarding, people are angry that Mexicans are making a life in the US and having a better time of it than they are. No one told white America to give up the basic building blocks of what it took to create a middle class. White America gave that up one decade at a time in a never ending greed race. Now Joe Sixpack is stuck at Walmart or Home Depot making nothing and hes mad that Jose Perez is cleaning up as an auto mechanic or roofer with 4 kids that are going to inherit the future. To be fair, the more ignorant or poor Joe Sixpack is, the more kids he most likely has.

    July 15, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel Wischkaemper

      This whole post is bigotry in action.

      July 15, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. asian texan

    I think the catholic church's stance against using birth control is part of why so many births. the catholic church should preach responsibility not just having babies even if you can't take care of them, look at mexico's losing war on drugs, they are too soft on crime there and the catholic church is part of the problem.

    July 15, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • S.A. Texas777

      People are going to make children regardless what is said at church. Ur comment is beyond dumb. Church is not going to keep people from screwing.

      July 15, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • DON ELLIOTT

      YOU MUST BE IN A COMA
      IS THE USA WINNING THE WAR ON DRUGS?

      July 15, 2011 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      SA Texan, church tells people it's wrong to use birth control, not that it's wrong to screw. Think a little deeper for one second please (I'm guessing you're a conservative, am I right?)

      July 15, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. IHateStupidPeople

    This article is misleading in several ways. It says that "births, not immigration" has lead to increase of Hispanic growth rate. First of all, the births are to the immigrants. Secondly, they're not just immigrants, they're Illegal criminal aliens. It's all interconnected. I wish they'd take they're babies and go home. We don't want them here. They've taken 12 million jobs off the street, increased crime, are a drain on our resources/benefit programs/infrastructure, they send alot of their money back to Mexico to stimulate that economy instead of the U.S.'s, ........I could go on and on and on....... You think of the biggest problems we're having right now–and I can link it to the Illegal Mexicans.

    July 15, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      Two things wrong here. A vast majority of hispanics living in the U.S. are legal. Just because someone has brown skin, does not mean they just crawled under a border fence. Secondly, just because you can assume that 12 million illegals are somehow ruining a country of 310 million people, and that you can "link" them to every problem we face, does not mean that your assumptions are accurate. Oh and one more...you are obviously one of the stupid people you say you hate.

      July 15, 2011 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. S.A. Texas777

    What is America coming to? Its so sad to see everyone calling each other names and complaining about Mexicans, Hispanics, Whites, and so on... this is not what being an American is all about. You all should be proud of your country and freedom. People die trying to cross the boarder to have what we have and wr take that for granted. Lets be good to one another and people who we share our country with.

    July 15, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
    • han

      I read this comment and think what stupidity. There is a border for a reason, there is a fence. Immigration is a major issue in this country, births from illegal aliens are a problem. I wish ICE would just do a major crackdown on illegal aliens with expire vistas and this increase border security to keeps ppl from jumping the border

      July 15, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Jose Colon

      Thats what i'm trying to say. otherwise all this hate will destroy this country lets work together

      July 15, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. innersixx

    Who would have thought that the immigrants would have children? Is it really that shocking?

    July 15, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Michael

    If you stop and think, America is becoming like Italy. Sociologically, Italy is an evolved civilization from the blending different cultures and populations from around the Mediterrean region and Northern Europe. Look how Italy had evolved into a beautiful country, with so many contributions to the world. Give America it's due time and not in our lifetime, but several generations later, America will become a very interesting country. I will never know but I know one thing for sure, it will be a country I would love to see if I could live for another 100-200 years. However, all I can say and do is to enjoy integrating the new energies of peoples into my life and make them my "own."

    July 15, 2011 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jose Colon

      wow. good point

      July 15, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
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