Nearly 1 In 4 Babies Born To Immigrants, Driving Increase In U.S. Birth Rate

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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Nearly one in four babies in the United States are born to immigrant parents and — as American-born women have fewer babies — immigrant mothers are now the primary force behind annual increases in U.S. births.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of immigrant fertility, while the number of births to immigrant women in the U.S. has more than tripled since 1970, the number of births to American-born women has declined.

Specifically in 1970 there were 274,000 births to immigrant mothers and 901,000 by 2014. By comparison, in that same timeframe, births to U.S.-born women dropped from 3.46 million to 3.10 million.

Chart courtesy of Pew Research Center:


Overall the annual number of U.S. births since 1970 has grown 7 percent from 3.74 million in 1970 to 4.00 million in 2014.

Births to women from Mexico (287,052), China (44,829), India (43,364), El Salvador (31,537), Guatemala (24,937), the Philippines (24,699), Honduras (18,726), Vietnam (17,724), Dominican Republic (16,201) and Puerto Rico (16,022), according to Pew, made up more than half of all babies born to immigrants in 2014.

Mexican women boasted the highest share of immigrant births in 2014, accounting for 32 percent of births to foreign-born mothers. While still higher than any other single country, the number of births to immigrants from Mexico has declined since 2005, when births to Mexicans in the U.S. made up 45 percent of immigrant births.

As Pew detailed in a separate report released this week, some 275,000 births in the U.S. were to illegal immigrant parents in 2014, accounting for about 7 percent of U.S. births and 32 percent of births to immigrant mothers.

Caroline May