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

    Some of the production factories must be shut down. Introduce family planning

    July 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluebear

      maybe if people had to pay for delivery or at least $1000 a year per child to go to school families would use a friggin rubber once in a while

      July 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sir Gaga

    Like all great empires, America will ultimately shatter, and not because of illegal individuals, but because as Americans, we are cupid. Instead of bashing minorities from the spectrum table, we should unite as one and seek to remain a powerful nation, or China will be #1.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      I'm sorry – we're cupid, did you say? Do I have to use urbandictionary.com to understand you or is this a typo?

      July 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluebear

      apparently yer so high you forgot what the article is about...AT& T+Always Total Toejam

      July 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hoog

      China already owns a great deal of the US. So who's really number 1?

      July 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Ferrullo

      ultimately shatter? its shattering right before our very eyes as we speak

      July 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      But we need people that are hard-working and innovative. We have too many people that are content to simply have a roof over their heads and a government that will provide services they don;t get in the homeland.

      July 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sir Gaga

      Brett, I meant to type cupidity.

      July 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. IllegalsRcriminal

    yes – immigration IS part of the problem. This article fails to mention that the birthing begins as the ILLEGALS cross the border (ie. IMMIGRATE) and ANCHOR their way into this country. The breeding continues as they continue to suck resources w/out giving much else in return except possibly the sales tax they pay for diapers and beer. Not uncommon in AZ and NV to see a PG mex-am w/ another kid in a stroller and at least 3 more toddling along behind. Pathetic.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb0155

      Say thank you to our politicians – you know the people who are supposed to be representing the American citizens! It costs a good $538 billion dollars to support illegals in this country! And, this is why we will never be able to balance the budget, Americans citizens will be screwed out of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Disability, etc.

      Thank your so called representatives!

      July 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb0155

      And, by the way, I forgot to mention that it costs at least $538 billion dollars A YEAR to take care of illegals in this country!

      July 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluebear

      i think all parents should pay $1000 per child per school year....illegals pay $2000 per school year per child

      July 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Heather

    How come this article didn't touch upon the fact that most minority groups are more likely to receive social services, and government assistance? They can continue popping out kid afer kid, cause they can just continue to live on social services. Please, i don't even wanna hear how they have a 'high' fertility rate!! That's ridiculous!! Its called they come here, and have kids so they can remain here, and get government help to do so. Ugh I'm all about giving people the ability to come here for freedom, but do it legally, and if you're not here legally, u and ur children should be sent back. Sounds terrible but cmon, this getting ridiculou now!!

    July 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluebear

      parents should pay $1000 per child per school year

      July 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      You're a racist idiot. Did you know Whites actually accept more public aid than Blacks? Not sure about the hispanic population, but they take jobs that people like you deem beneath you, and we need people to do those jobs.

      July 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. realnatives....

    ....immigrated from some place, too. That's a tired argument.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Overgrown

    @realnative ...spot on Mr

    July 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. realnative

    @guest say something worth saying.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. eperez

    It's funny when you disagree with someone they don't know what's going on. Clearly you people are the reason for the hate in this country. I don't care for you or your family or how all of you hide behind these bloggings. You want to secure the southern border bit not the north, yes you don't have masses from canada trying to come in, bit think how that looks to the chicanos. wake up you can hate that health care is being drained, hate that the brown does the job that below you, hate becuase thats all you have. all you are doing is making enemies at home and we will be pushed only so far.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Please, Mr. Badda$$ mexican, revolt and make trouble at home so we have a better excuse to kick you and your kind out. Thanks.

      July 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      I dont really care how it looks to them. This is not their county, they should stay in their own country and try to turn it from a third world hole to a modern productive nation.

      July 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. realnative....

    ....Veronica IS home.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MayaNYC

    But if the average birth rate in USA is 2.3 and Mexican has 2.5 and the rest of hispanic has exactly the average. Is not such a big differences. I would love too see the birth rate for several religious and minorities groups

    July 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. WVLady63

    GREAT, more mouths to feed, more houses to GIVE to these people, more medical bills to be run up and lets not forget more of our tax dollars going to be sure all of these people's needs are met! NEVER MIND that Americans are doing without jobs, medical insurance, homes, food and necessities of life, we must NOT EVER stop taking care of millions of people who need to go back to their own country OR MAKE MEXICO PAY US FOR TAKING CARE OF THEIR PEOPLE!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb0155

      Amen to that!

      July 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MayaNYC

    Education and religious believes is what make Mexicans have 2.5 birth rate

    July 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mic

      that would be beliefs.....starts with a edgamacation...(education)

      July 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb0155

      No – it's the fast track into the U.S.!

      July 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim in Texas

    Change the Fourteenth Amendment and get these anchor babies out of my country!

    July 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluebear

      parents need to start paying an annual fee for education, per child...$1000 sounds good (they prob get that in free meals at school anyway)

      July 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Veronica

    If Mexicans came here legally and were responsible for their families people wouldn't be so down on them. You don't see this kind of resistance to Asians who for the most part are hard working and industrious and don't have ten kids.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. eperez....

    ....there aren't a bunch if Canadians sneaking in under the border up there. The problem is South, and why should we be concerned what criminals think?

    July 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
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