Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, immigration was the main source of growth of the Hispanic population. But according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, the size of the Hispanic population in the USA, now at 53 million, is so large that U.S. births of Hispanic children will continue outpacing immigration flows no matter how many legal and undocumented immigrants reach the USA in the years to come.
And with 800,000 U.S. born Hispanics turning 18 each year, researchers say the population will continue increasing its share of the American population and its influence on American institutions. In the coming decades, that number is projected to be about 1 million per year.
"That's really a reflection of this wave of U.S. born young people entering adulthood and having an impact demographically on everything from the labor market, colleges and universities and impacting a whole host of other institutions that are part of adulthood," said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center and a co-author of the report. The report also found that Hispanics continue to be the fastest growing group in the country.
60% of the Hispanic population growth between 2000 and 2010 can be attributed to U.S. births.During that same period, the number of newly arrived immigrants was 6.5 million.
Hispanics increased from 12.5% of the population in 2000 to 16.9% in 2012. That coincided with a drop in the white population from 69.1% to 62.8% and small increases in the black population from 12% to 12.3% and the Asian population 3.6% to 4.9%. The share of Hispanic adults who were born in another country fell under 50% for the first time in decades. That foreign-born adult Hispanic population peaked at 55%, when immigration flows were at their highest. But it now stands at 49.8%. Hispanics remain the most likely to be uninsured, with 29% of the population lacking health insurance in 2012. That compares to 11% of whites who are uninsured, 15% of Asians and 18% of blacks.
Hispanics also own their homes at a lower rate 46% than most other groups. The report did find, however, that ownership rates increase the longer they live in the country, with 59% of Hispanic immigrants who arrived before 1990 owning their homes. This report means that even with reduced immigration rates into the U.S., the Hispanic population is still booming.