A recent report shows that immigrants’ fertility rate in the U.S. has plunged in recent years, challenging the claims that the country can use immigration to solve the costs of aging populations.
The Center for Immigration Studies calculates that the total fertility rate reached 2.02 children per immigrant woman in 2019, well below the 2.1 replacement rate, necessary to replace the existing population. In 2008, the total fertility rate for immigrant women stood at 2.75.
Steven A. Camarota, the Director of Research at Centers for Immigration Studies, and principal author of this report said that these findings undercut conventional wisdom that the U.S. can rely on immigrants to rejuvenate an elderly population.
Mr. Camarota even said there’s some evidence in the research, although preliminary, that immigrants decrease the fertility rate of native-born women, perhaps by driving up housing or other costs and complicating the decision to have more children, reports the Washington Times.
“If true — and I emphasize if true — it completely shatters the idea that you can use immigration to increase your fertility and make your society much younger,” Camarota said.
Mr. Camarota’s study uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which asks women ages 15-50 if they had a child in the last year, and also asks about whether they are native or immigrant.
The article concludes:
Immigrant women still have higher fertility rates than native-born women, but the lines are converging quickly. In 2008, immigrant TFR was 2.75, while native TFR was 2.07. Now those numbers are 2.02 and 1.69.
Among Hispanic immigrants, traditionally the most fertile demographic, the rate has dropped from 3.15 in 2008 to 2.24 in 2019.
When fertility is measured in births per thousand, a different yardstick than TFR, the lines are also converging, with immigrant women falling from 90.8 in 2008 to 70.9 last year, and native-born women going from 66.5 to 55.7.
The 2019 numbers come before the coronavirus pandemic, which demographers say is likely to cut even deeper into fertility.
Updated: Tue, Mar 2nd 2021 @ 2:40pm EST