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U.S. child births drop to record low

The birth rate in 2011 dipped to an all-time low, according to a Pew Research poll released Nov. 29, largely led by the decline in births by immigrant women since the recession hit.

“The overall U.S. birth rate … declined 8% from 2007 to 2010. The birth rate for U.S.-born women decreased 6% during these years, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%—more than it had declined over the entire 1990-2007 period,” Pew writes.

The largest drop off in birth rates was among Hispanic women. The birth rate among Mexican women dropped by 23 percent during the last twenty years.

“Poverty and unemployment also grew more sharply among the Latino community than for other groups after the Great Recession began in 2008,” Fox News reported.

Foreign-born mothers, however, still account for a disproportionately higher number of child births, when compared to U.S.-born women.

The overall birth rate has been declining for the last 20 years.

Pew pointed to changing demographics as a possible cause: Mothers are now much older than their counterparts 20 years ago, and nearly four in ten children are born to unwed mothers. The numbers are highest for black women, but the figure is also rapidly growing for white and Hispanic mothers.

Pew expects that by 2050, whites will be a minority ,consisting of 47 percent of the population.

“Any way you cut it, white non-Hispanics are going to become an ever-decreasing share of the US population,” Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center said. “In some respects, the Electoral College magnifies that impact, because a number of key states a candidate needs to amass an electoral majority are already ahead of the national average of the percentage of nonwhites.”

Exit polls showed President Barack Obama won Latinos by 71 percent to 27 percent on Election Day.

Hispanics are expected to triple in size and make up 29 percent of the population by 2050, compared to their 14 percent today.

“It seems to me that the Republican Party could have easily won that election,’’ William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, said. “They should at least pay attention to the concerns of Hispanics.”

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