NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 12, 2005

A new study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that nearly 23 percent of all people born in the United States in 2002 had a foreign-born mother -- the largest percentage since 1910.

The study compiled data from birth records collected by the National Center for Health Statistics that included both legal and illegal immigrants but did not indicate where a child"s father was born.

  • In 2002, 23 percent of children were born to foreign-born mothers, compared to 15 percent in 1990, 9 percent in 1980, and 6 percent in 1970.
  • Children of immigrant mothers accounted for about 915,800 of the 4 million births in the United States in 2002; by comparison, 228,486 of the 3.7 million births in 1970 were to foreign-born mothers.
  • Today, nearly one in 10 births are to women born in Mexico and Hispanics account for 59 percent of all births by immigrants.

Additionally, 15 counties in the United States have reported that more than half of all births have been to immigrant mothers, says CIS.

  • The leader was Queens, New York with a 67.7 percent increase; followed by Miami-Dade County, Florida with 58.9 percent; Los Angeles, California with 56.3 percent; and Orange County, California with 54.3 percent.
  • Gwinnett County, Georgia, experienced a huge increase in its Hispanic population in just over a decade, growing from 9.3 in 1990 to 41.3 in 2002.
  • In Dallas, Texas, 36.9 percent of children born in 2002 had a mother born outside of the country.

This boom of second-generation Americans is bound to affect the country at an equal, if not greater rate than wave of immigration in 1910, says CIS. The growing size of immigrant communities could slow their assimilation into American culture and make it difficult to have a cohesiveness of national vision.

Source: Associated Press, "23% of U.S. births from immigrants: Number of foreign-born moms in '02 was most since early 20th century," Dallas Morning News, July 8, 2005; based upon: Steven A. Camarota, "Births to Immigrants in America: 1970 to 2002," Center for Immigration Studies, July 2005.

For CIS report:


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