Birth Rate Overtakes Immigration in Growth of U.S. Latino Population

In a not surprising, but still important revelation, a report was released today demonstrating that the birth rate among Latinos has surpassed immigration as the main means of growth of the U.S. Hispanic population.

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This trend is especially prevalent among the Mexican-American community according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center. In the last decade (2000-2010) 11.4 million Mexican-Americans joined the population of the United States, and almost 65 percent of the growth was due to new births, while only 4.2 million people immigrated to the country. According to an analysis of Mexican government data, the number of Mexicans annually leaving Mexico for the U.S. declined by 60% from 2006-2010.

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The birth rate is uncommonly high due to a variety of factors. First, more than 10 million immigrants arrived from Mexico to the U.S. since the 1970s. Second, Mexican immigrants are more likely than the average American citizen to be in their prime reproductive years and third, the community as a whole tends to have a naturally higher birth rate.

Many Mexicans have stopped emigrating to the U.S. in recent years due to the lack of employment and unstable economy, while the Mexican economy has recently enjoyed a relatively stable year. Combined with increased border enforcement, the prospect of immigrating has lost its appeal for many.

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In 2010, the Mexican-American population of the United States stands at 31.8 million strong, comprising 63% of the total U.S. Latino population and 10% of the total general population. Besides Russia, no other country in the world has as many immigrants from one single country as the United States does with Mexico, and our neighbor to the south can count itself among the countries with the most citizens living abroad in the world. More than 10% of the native Mexican population lives outside of the country and 97% of those expats live in the United States.