Birth Rate Drops with Less Latinas Getting Pregnant


The national birth rate is half what it was at its peak in 1957 – and the most recent decline is being driven by less Latinas giving birth.
The New York Times reports: “[I]n 2011, the American birthrate hit a record low, with 63 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, led by the decline in births to immigrant women. The decline in birthrates was steepest among Mexican-American women and women who immigrated from Mexico, at 25.7 percent. This has reversed a trend in which immigrant mothers accounted for a rising share of births in the United States, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center. In 2010, birthrates among all Hispanics reached their lowest level in 20 years, the center found.”
Part of the decline could be attributable to the recession, the article said, because Latinos in general were harder hit. “Prolonged recessions do produce dips in the birthrate, but a drop as large as Latinos have experienced is atypical, said William H. Frey, a sociologist and demographer at the Brookings Institution. ‘It is surprising,’ Frey said. ‘When you hear about a decrease in the birthrate, you don’t expect Latinos to be at the forefront of the trend.’”
The birth rate could be even lower if it wasn’t for the high cost of contraception. The article said, “According to research by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the overwhelming majority of Latinas have used contraception at some point in their lives, but they face economic barriers to consistent use. As a consequence, Latinas still experience unintended pregnancy at a rate higher than non-Hispanic whites, according to the institute.”