Fertility Among Immigrants Varies Significantly

By Steven A. Camarota on November 30, 2015

Fertility among immigrants varies significantly. Some groups of immigrants or those from some regions tend to have birth rates that are much higher than that of natives, while others are more similar. The table below reports the number of births per thousand for immigrant and native women based on the recently released 2014 American Community Survey. The survey asks women in their child-bearing years if they gave birth in the prior year. The table reads as follows: In 2014, there were 59 births for every 1,000 native-born women ages 15 to 44, compared to 75 births per thousand for immigrant women in the same age group.

The table shows that immigrants have higher fertility than natives, but that this higher fertility makes little difference to the overall birth rate in the United States. In 2014, the total birth rate for all women (immigrant and native) was 61 births per thousand. This is very similar to the rate for natives (59 births per thousand). In short, immigrants in the United States, who comprise almost 17 percent of women ages 15 to 44, only increase the birth rate by only about 4.4 percent. (The top part of the table presents rounded values, so the actual increase in births per thousand as a result of immigration is 2.6.) This is another reminder that, although immigration makes the U.S. population larger, it does not make it significantly younger.

Birth Rates for Women Ages 15 to 44 in 2014

Region and Other Charateristics (with
the exception of natives, figures are
only for immigrants in the United States)
Births per Thousand Number of Births in 2014 (thousands)
Sub-Saharan Africa 101 46
Immigrants in Poverty 99 240
Central America 86 75
Speaks English less than Very Well 83 401
Predominatly Muslim countries 83 47
Middle East 82 29
Mexico 81 258
South Asia 80 69
All of Latin America 78 438
All Immigrants 75 783
OECD countries 74 316
South America 71 51
Immigrants Not in Poverty 69 542
Speak only English or Speaks It Very Well 68 382
Europe 65 58
East Asia 64 131
Carribbean 63 54
Canada 63 8
Natives 59 3,178
English-Speaking Countries 52 26
Total U.S. Population (Immigrant & Native) 61 3,961

Country Births per Thousand
Somalia 128
Nigeria 110
Venezuela 105
Israel 104
Egypt 103
Guatemala 102
Ethiopia 88
Honduras 88
Ghana 86
Ecuador 83
India 83
Peru 81
El Salvador 81
Mexico 81
Brazil 76
Pakistan 76
Other USSR/Russia 74
Iraq 74
Bangladesh 71
Saudi Arabia 69
Vietnam 69
United Kingdom 68
China 67
Dominican Republic 63
Cuba 52
Korea 48
Iran 45
Jamaica 43
Colombia 43

Source: 2014 public-use file of the American Community Survey. Birth rates are for women ages 15 to 44 who indicated they had a child in the prior 12 months. Total birth figures are for all ages. Immigrants are refered to as the foreign-born by the Census Bureau and include all those who were not US citizens at birth.

Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize/British Honduras.
South America: Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Guyana/British Guiana, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, South America not specified.
Oceania\Elsewhere: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Tonga, Samoa.
South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
East Asia: Philippines, China, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Burma (Myanmar), Indonesia, Asia nec/ns, Malaysia, Singapore.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Africa, ns/nec, Kenya, Somalia, South Africa (Union of), Liberia, Cameroon, Western Africa ns, Eastern Africa nec/ns, Eritrea, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Senegal, Zaire, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Togo, Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Zambia.
Middle East: Iran, Iraq, Egypt/United Arab Rep., Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Yemen Arab Republic (North), Sudan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Libya, North Africa, North Africa not specified.
Caribbean: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Caribbean ns, Grenada, Bahamas, Dominica, West Indies ns, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Antigua-Barbuda, Americas ns, Bermuda.
Europe: Germany, Poland, Other USSR/Russia, Italy, Ukraine, England, United Kingdom ns, France, Romania, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Bosnia, Spain, Armenia, Netherlands, Albania, Hungary, Scotland, Bulgaria, Byelorussia, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Austria, USSR ns, Croatia, Moldavia, Switzerland, Europe ns, Lithuania, Belgium, Serbia, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, Norway, Azores, Latvia, Republic of Georgia, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Montenegro, Cyprus, Iceland.
Predominately Muslim: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen Arab Republic (North), Algeria, Egypt/United Arab Rep., Libya, Morocco, Sudan, North Africa ns, Somalia.
OECD countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.
English-speaking countries: Canada, Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Guyana, Jamaica, Bahamas,Barbados.