Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Hispanic Women Choosing to Have Fewer Children

For years, higher birth rates among Latinas have been fueling population growth in the United States. But that’s changing.

According to the Pew Research Center, the birth rate fell by 23 percent for Mexican immigrant women and U.S.-born Mexican women between 2007 and 2010–compared to eight percent for all women.

For all U.S.-born Hispanic women the birth rate declined by 13 percent.  The birth rate is the annual number of births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. Hispanic birth rates were at the lowest level in 20 years.

In 2010, about 24 percent of all newborns were Hispanic.

 The New York Times reports that the drop in the birth rate happened as the recession hit, during which Latino families saw their wealth drop more than white, black and Asian homes. Factors could include more women pursuing higher education and more awareness about contraceptives.

Olga Gonzalez, a mother of two, teaches family planning to Mexican immigrants and shares with women how she chose college, career and then children. She says that she asks the women– “What is the optimum situation we want so our kids don’t struggle?” According to the Times, they respond they, too, want an education.

It’s an interesting question to pose.