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Birth Rates Shape the Future of San Diego

Projections show that most of San Diego's growth, in the near future, will come from births – not migration. Who are having children? We speak with San Diego State demographer John Weeks about local,

Birth Rates Shape the Future of San Diego

Tom Fudge: The San Diego Association of Governments tells us that between now and 2030, our region will continue to grow. But most of the growth will be due to births, not migration. So who are the people in our county that are having children?

The answer is – not everyone. In fact, fertility rates, which indicate the number of children born per woman, vary dramatically among ethnic groups and among national groups. Most of us who follow the news, know that most European countries are not producing enough children to replace their populations. This is also true of most East Asian countries.


The U.S. as a whole is right at replacement level. About 2.1 children are born per woman in our country. But that is due to the fact that we have a lot of immigrants. If our population were made up of only native-born Americans, we'd have fewer births. San Diego's continuing growth is due, no doubt, to immigration and a fairly large Hispanic population.

What does the diversity of birth rates mean for our future? And what changes have occurred in society to make some people unlikely to reproduce?