Birth Rate Drops Among Immigrant Women

In the wake of the recent recession, the birthrate in the United States has declined significantly for immigrant women, according to Miriam Jordan’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

The Pew Research Center studied this phenomenon using data from the Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics. Researchers examined annual birth rates for different populations of women between 2007 and 2010.

The report found that while the overall birth rate has dropped, immigrant women, particularly those of Mexican and Hispanic origin, have been hit the hardest by the recession.

The overall birthrate dropped by 8 percent, down to 64 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. The birth rate for foreign-born women dropped by 14 percent, with Hispanic women specifically experiencing a 19 percent decline. At 23 percent, Mexican women had the largest drop of all Hispanic nationalities.

“Immigrants have shaped population patterns recently by driving down births, and in the long term by offsetting declines in births to women born in the U.S,” D’Vera Cohn, co-author of the study, told the Journal.

Although immigrants make up only 13 percent of all U.S. residents, they have long been responsible for a disproportionate number of births in the United States. Experts believe that this phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that immigrant women are more likely than other residents to be in the prime age range for bearing a child.

However, immigration policies have changed U.S. demographics in the past few years, which joins the recession as a reason for the steep birthrate decline.

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