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Hispanic Family Size in USA Shrinking


From The Countries

Hispanic Family Size in USA Shrinking

While Hispanic immigrants are presently helping to bolster the U.S. birthrate, the long tradition of large Hispanic families may fast be becoming a thing of the past.

Hispanic couples are starting to follow the lead of others in their new homeland and many now consider one or two children a completed family.

As Hispanics become Americanized and are far away from home, the family, social and religious pressures of their homeland to have larger families decreases. They want to live as their American neighbors with fewer children.

The average Hispanic family, though, is still larger than the national average: 3.87 people per Hispanic family, while the national average for all families is 3.19 people.

As experts see that so many second-generation Hispanics plan on having smaller families, demographers have projected that the birthrates in states with high Hispanic populations will decrease in the future, following the trends already seen in California and Florida.

For example, in California, demographers decreased their population estimates for 2040 by nearly 7 million, pointing to the continuing drop in the fertility rate among Hispanics, according to the California Department of Finance’s Demographic Research Unit. The fertility rate in that state was 2.6 children per woman in 2003, down from 3.4 children in 1990.

Recent trends in Mexico, where many of these immigrants were born, also show a decline in the number of children women are bearing. The fertility rate in Mexico now is 2.1 children per family.

Many Americans talk of the need for immigrants’ assimilation for the continued unity and stability of the United States, but this is an area where assimilation works against one of the primary advantages of immigration in the first place: the provision of population and labor in a country whose native population is less and less inclined to have children.

See the source: Helena Oliviero, *As Hispanics embrace life in U.S., some prefer to limit family size,* Middletown Journal, 16 January  2005

PRI Review (From the Countries)/ January February 2005

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