Wednesday, February 22, 2012
A look at U.S. Census figures finds the gap between Latino and White births has continued to widen. And Latinos are branching out from the traditional areas where they have lived and are transforming the American South.
The U.S. Census revealed that Latinos now make up 16 percent of the population – and that number is growing fast. New analysis of 2010 Census Bureau figures by the Pew Hispanic Center offers some simple reasons why.
More Latina women than white women gave birth between the summers of 2009 and 2010: 8.1 percent of Latinas between the ages of 15 and 44 had a child, compared to 5.9 percent of white women. That gap has continued to widen.
And while the white population ages, the Latino population is getting younger - much younger.
Children under 5 are now the largest Latino age group, while for whites, the largest age group is between 50 and 54.
Mark Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center, said that trend reflects an important shift that will continue to define Latino population growth.
“Hispanic population growth came more from U.S. birth than it did from the arrival of new immigrants," he said. "And moving forward, U.S. births to Hispanic parents are going to be a more important driver to population growth than the arrival of new immigrants.”
In earlier decades, direct immigration accounted for more of the growth in the Latino population than births to Latinos, Lopez said.
The data also showed more Latinos are populating areas where large numbers have not historically lived, with the fastest population increases in the Southeast. Georgia now has the tenth largest Latino population, the first time the state has been in the top 10.