High Fertility, Low Mortality: Hispanic Natural Increase and the Growing Spatial Diversity of the U.S. Population

Kenneth M. Johnson, University of New Hampshire
Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University

We use Census Bureau estimates and race/ethnic specific birth and death data for the 1990-2000 and 2000-2010 to highlight the accelerating role of natural increase as an engine of population growth and diversity. We delineate the underlying demographic processes that account for changes in both the absolute and relative size of the Hispanic population at the national and subnational level. Our findings document that recent Hispanic population gains have been fueled increasingly by natural increase. Diminishing natural increase among non-Hispanic whites has also accelerated diversity. Natural increase among Hispanics is of particular significance in Hispanic new destinations, where it accounted for twice as much recent Hispanic population increase as during the 1990s. The growth of the Hispanic population, fueled increasingly by natural increase, coupled with diminishing non-Hispanic white natural increase has taken on a demographic momentum of its own with significant spatial implications.

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Presented in Session 16: Immigration and Population Change: Implications for Business and Government