Immigrant Birthrate Declining Rapidly

Impact of Immigration on the Aging of U.S. Population Is Small and Declining

By CIS on October 2, 2017

Washington, D.C. (October 2, 2017) – A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies finds that fertility rates have declined much more rapidly among immigrants than the native-born. As a result, immigration's modest impact on slowing the aging of America is becoming even smaller. Immigration increases the size of the country's population significantly, but the impact on the overall fertility rate in the country is small because the difference between immigrants and natives is modest.

Dr. Steven Camarota, director of research and author of the report, said, "Many commentators claim that the high immigrant fertility will 'rebuild the demographic pyramid,' but this view is mistaken.  Declining immigrant fertility means that the modest impact immigration once had is now even smaller." He continued, "If present trends continue, the Total Fertility Rate of immigrants may even drop below 2.1 in the next few years, the level necessary to replace the existing population."

View the entire report at:

Key findings:

  • The birth rate for women in their reproductive years (ages 15-50) declined more than twice as much for immigrants as natives between 2008 and 2015. Between 2008 and 2015 the fertility of immigrant women feel from 76 to 60 births per thousand. In contrast, native fertility declined from 55 births per thousand to 49 births per thousand — a decline of six births per thousand. 
  • Although still higher than that of natives, immigrant fertility has only a small impact on the nation's overall birth rate. The presence of immigrants raises the birth rate for all women in their reproductive years by just two births per thousand (3.6 percent). 
  • Even if the number of immigrant women 15 to 50 doubled along with births to this population, it would still only raise the overall national birth rate for women by 2.5 percent above the current level. 
  • In addition to births per thousand, fertility is often measured using the total fertility rate (TFR). The TFR reports the number of children a woman can be expected to have in her lifetime based on current patterns.
  • Like the birth rate, the TFR of immigrants has declined more rapidly than the TFR for natives. In 2008, immigrant women had a TFR of 2.75 children; by 2015 it had fallen to 2.16 — a .6-child decline.  For natives it declined from 2.07 to 1.75 — a .33-child decline. 
  • The presence of immigrants in the country has only a small impact on the nation's overall TFR. In 2015, immigrants only increased the nation's overall TFR by .08 children (4.3 percent). 
  • Although immigration has only a small impact on overall fertility and aging, it has a significant impact on population size. For example, new immigrants and births to immigrants between 2000 and 2015 added 30.2 million people to the country — equal to 76 percent of U.S. population growth over this time period.