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. heliocracy

    Hahaha this just in, New Study Finds That The Sky Appears Blue to Most People!

    July 15, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom Bastropietra

    Look it's the Peeling Grey syndrome all over again.Why are we being such hypocrites?
    Open the stupid borders and legalize drugs....this would absolutely cripple the dumb "drug gangs" in Mexico(and here for that matter)and we can then take away the pretense behind the racism towards Mexicans and combat that head on.The racism is actually extremely counterproductive.Especially to lower classes.

    July 15, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. mexicobo

    “Why can't we be frieeends?“ Its the 2011, what is race anymore? pretty soon we'll all just be citizens of "the republic of earth" hahaha

    July 15, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. HDTD

    I presume most of you voted democratic if you are on this site. That is the American dream. Mostly hard working, over weight white people working to pay for the children of the illegals because they are now legal. You idiots voted for Obama who wont do a damn thing about immigration.

    July 15, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • 100% American

      Obama has repatriated more illegals in two years than your hero W removed in eight years.

      July 15, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      right.. how soon Reagan's amnesty deal is forgotten. It's always been Republicans pushing for amnesty.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • the 2chefs

      So in 2 years Obama created this? Idiot! You must be an over weight white American crying about how Mexican Americans are taking your job and tax dollars. Hello! You're not contributing to the tax dollars if you're not working. The Mexican Americans are. Did you read how far back the statistics go? This is not a problem from Obama. Your Republicans played a huge part in creating the larger population. I can't wait till the world look tan. They no mare predjudic.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Laurie

    This article makes a good argument for changing the law that grants automatic citizenship to anyone born in the US. At least one parent should be a citizen before granting such rights.

    July 15, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • kleentx

      Where are your ancestors from, Laurie? Were they Native American Indians? If not, then every member of your family is a product of birthright citizenship. When your ancestors arrived in this country on a boat, they came here for a better life AND because their children, grandchildren and so on would automatically American citizens. I wonder if you could pass the citizenship test if you took it today...

      July 15, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. hank

    Yes births from illegals. You see them with 3 to 5 kids and one on the way

    July 15, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Larry

    Not one word in this article that says ILLEGALS. Most of these new babies were payed for by American taxpayers and now the up keep of thses illegal babies will continue as we pay for their welfare, schooling and feeding . But Mexican's do not have a concience. They don't care if they break Fedearl law and sponge off of taxpayers. This is stealing plain and simply. Track down and deport every illegal.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • 100% American

      Well said!

      July 15, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • kleentx

      Where are your ancestors from, Larry? Were they Native American Indians? If not, then every member of your family is a product of birthright citizenship. When your ancestors arrived in this country on a boat, they came here for a better life AND because their children, grandchildren and so on would automatically be American citizens. I wonder if you could pass the citizenship test if you took it today...

      July 15, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Perhaps if we treat illegal immigrants exactly how we ourselves would be treated by them if we were to move to their native country illegally. Maybe not. That might get ugly.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hugo

    I wish they'd stop letting people write comments here. It hurts to see all this hate. I'm happy to live in a place where people treat me as an equal. In Texas, people are treated with respect regardless of their country of origin.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Intubater

      If your illegal you have no business in this country and the anchor babies of illegals should be deported as well. No automatic citizenship. You get the boot. That is why I boycott every hispanic businesses.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. tensor

    Worse still, it is the hard-working middle class – on its knees from foreclosures and joblessness ... due to Wall St. and govt. malfeasance ... who is paying for this pestilence. The next decade will tell if this country survives, as the engine of growth and stability for 50 years has been the Baby Boomer gen. Older middle class folk are now homeless, jobless, stripped of retirement savings, anxious, and supporting kids who've moved back home, as well as elderly and frail parents who've come to live with them. Turns my stomach seeing idiotic, fat cat corrupt local politicians raise tax rates and property taxes on the middle class in this economic environment ... to pay for schools and law enforcement for illegals and their drop 'n' squat litters that refuse to learn English, trash entire swaths of cities and can't even figure out birth control. History will point and laugh at the Reagan Revolution and Uncle Ronnie's amnesty plan that kicked all this off 30 years ago. The U.S. becoming a huge crime infested, dirty, brown Catholic mess must have the rest of the world laughing their butts off at how far the U.S. has fallen ... and further to drop.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hopey McChange

    No SH!T CNN, really? These people breed like rats because they know they're going to have to pay for them. Joe Taxpayer will pay for them.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • kleentx

      Where are your ancestors from, Hopey? Were they Native American Indians? If not, then every member of your family is a product of birthright citizenship. When your ancestors arrived in this country on a boat, they came here for a better life AND because their children, grandchildren and so on would automatically be American citizens. I wonder if you could pass the citizenship test if you took it today...

      July 15, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ron Paul 2012!!!

    Interesting! No mention of the 14th Amendment????

    ANCHOR BABIES!!!!

    July 15, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. 2bits

    What's behind the stage is that illegals are so comfortable here hiding out from the system due to lack of checks on employers that they can take the time to have babies. America is a failed system due to Congress.

    July 15, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. 2bits

    It's more like a plague on America and replicating itself exponentially.

    July 15, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Coskid54

    I've heard this so many times before: When the Vietnam "war" was at it's peak, and soon after, and we were "inundated" with Vietnamese "trash/roaches"; When Puerto Ricans "invaded"; and so forth and so on even back to when the black slaves were "breeding out of control" and the white southerners were afraid of being outnumbered. Maybe it's just our collective guilty conscience dating back to when we presented Native Americans with smallpox-laden blankets?

    I can agree we need to protect our jobs, but seriously ... do you really want to pick the lettuce & tomatoes that dress up your Big Mac??

    July 15, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Black American Dream

      Exactly! Most people who complain about the "jobs" Mexicans are supposedly taking away wouldn’t work those jobs anyway.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
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