Democrats seem to be banking on the high birthrate and continued migration of Hispanics to lead them a permanent electoral majority. Not so fast. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), native-born Hispanic Americans’ total fertility levels fell below replacement levels for the first time two years ago.
A recent CDC survey reports that Hispanic total fertility rate (TFR) has fallen for an unprecedented eighth straight year, while the percentage of children born to Hispanic parents has fallen for seven years in a row.
The survey has a lot of numbers, but they paint a picture contrary to the Democratic narrative, so bear with me.
The national fertility rate is 1.86 children per woman, well below the 2.1 replacement level; it varies among racial groups with Asian and American Indian women on the low end and black and Hispanic women on the high end. Hispanics’ total TFR stood at 2.15 in 2013, dropping from 2.35 in 2010. (These numbers mirror similar trends overseas.) While Hispanics overall still have a TFR above replacement level, the same isn’t true for native-born Hispanic Americans.
According to the American census, 76 percent of Hispanics identify as Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban. All other Latinos – of Caribbean and Central and South American heritage – comprise less than a quarter of that population. If you take into account American-born Hispanics, then Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans dominate.
While the overall Hispanic birthrate has fallen fairly dramatically from the beginning of the decade, the groups most affected are American-born Hispanics. All now have a fertility level below replacement. In 2012 – the most recent numbers by the CDC – Mexicans have 2.08, Puerto Ricans have 1.69, and Cubans have 1.37. All other Hispanics have 2.81.
And those numbers do not take into account the overall drop between 2012 and 2013. It is very likely that the TFR of Mexicans, like that of Puerto Ricans and Cubans, is below 2.0.
While the immigrant population adds .08 children to the national fertility level, it adds more to the overall Hispanic numbers and when taken out of the equation decreases Hispanics below replacement levels.
A census survey also verifies this hypothesis, as it placed the native-born Hispanic fertility rate at 1.93 in 2013. Any future Hispanic growth will have to depend more on immigration than on births, which is contrary to current trends. Immigration of Hispanics is also on the decline, as that group has been replaced by Asians as the largest group of new immigrants back in 2011.
Analysts and pundits who prophesy permanent majorities based on Hispanic growth need to re-examine their crystal balls. Hispanic birthrates will plateau and decline in America, and Democrats will have to look for a different minority group to fulfill their dreams of permanent national dominance.