Hispanic/Mexican Fertility: A Cause for Concern?

Reanne Frank, Ohio State University
Elizabeth Wildsmith, Child Trends
Kristi Williams, Ohio State University

Widespread agreement exists with respect to the magnitude of Hispanic/Mexican-Origin fertility and the critical role it will play in shaping the ethno-racial landscape of the country in the future. There is considerably less consensus in the academic literature over whether the high fertility levels characterizing the Hispanic/Mexican-Origin population are a cause for concern. In this paper we argue that the most important issue for subsequent generations of Mexicans is not the number of births occurring to Mexican-Origin women (i.e completed family size) but the timing and marital context of those births. Using data from the recently compiled Integrated Fertility Series, we produce the first complete description of the broader context of Hispanic/Mexican fertility, identifying variation in these patterns along two different axes (nativity and SES), and compare them against fertility patterns of non-Hispanic black and white women.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior