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What are the facts of the decline in the immigrant birth rate?


The Pew Research Center issued on November 29 a report on the birth rate in the country. Here are the bullet points for the immigrant birth rate:

Final 2011 data are not available, but according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the overall birth rate in 2011 was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age. That rate is the lowest since at least 1920, the earliest year for which there are reliable numbers. The overall U.S. birth rate peaked most recently in the Baby Boom years, reaching 122.7 in 1957, nearly double today’s rate. The birth rate sagged through the mid-1970s but stabilized at 65-70 births per 1,000 women for most years after that before falling again after 2007, the beginning of the Great Recession.

The 2010 birth rate for foreign-born women (87.8) was nearly 50% higher than the rate for U.S.-born women (58.9).

From 2007 to 2010, the overall number of births declined 7%, pulled down by a 13% drop in births to immigrants and a relatively modest 5% decline in births to U.S.-born women.

Still, total population growth in the future will depend mostly on foreign born mothers.. The projections indicate that immigrants arriving since 2005 and their descendants will account for fully 82% of U.S. population growth by 2050.

Total U.S. births in 2010 were 4.0 million—roughly 3.1 million to U.S.-born women and 930,000 to immigrant women. In 2011, according to preliminary data, there were 3.95 million total births.

Births to foreign born mothers as a share of all births was 16% in 1990, 25% in 2007, and 23% in 2010.

The share of U.S.-born children younger than age 2 with foreign-born mothers was about as high during the wave of immigration in the early 1900s (21%) as it is now. Thus we are seeing in effect a repeat of the huge influx of foreigners on American fertility now as it was 100 years ago.

The majority of births to foreign-born women (56%) in 2010 were to Hispanic mothers.

Birth rate declines are often driven by economic distress. Both foreign- and U.S.-born Hispanic women had larger birth rate declines from 2007 to 2010 than did other groups. Hispanics also had larger percentage declines in household wealth than white, black or Asian households from 2005 to 2009.5 Poverty and unemployment also grew more sharply for Latinos than for non-Latinos after the Great Recession began, and most Hispanics say that the economic downturn was harder on them than on other groups

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