2007 April 22 Sunday
Immigration Driving Up Illegitimacy Rates

A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies finds immigration is making America's problem with illegitimate births worse.

*Births to unmarried women have increased dramatically. From 13 percent in 1980 for immigrant mothers (legal and illegal) to 32 percent in 2003, and from 19 to 35 percent for native-born mothers.

Note that the native-born illegitimacy rate above is boosted by second and third generation descendants of immigrants. Whites have lower rates than blacks and Hispanics. But whites are a rapidly shrinking fraction of the US population. Immigration is raising the fraction of the population that has illegitimate kids.

Of course people who have kids out of wedlock are more likely to need taxpayer-funded medical care, food stamps, and other subsidies to pay for the raising of their kids. The rest of us pay for all this. We also pay for more crime and a lower quality of life.

* The rate for immigrants is higher than for natives in Arizona, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina.

* The modest nationwide difference disappears when teenagers, who have the highest illegitimacy rates, are excluded. There are relatively few immigrant teenagers because immigrants tend to arrive older. Without teenagers, the rate is about 30 percent for both immigrants and natives.

Hispanics have seen a huge increase in illegitimacy.

* Hispanic immigrants have seen the largest increase in illegitimacy from 19 percent in 1980 to 42 percent in 2003. This matters because 59 percent of all births to immigrants are to Hispanics.

Asian and white immigrants have the lowest rates of illegitimacy.

* In addition to the 42 percent rate for Hispanic immigrants, 39 percent of births among black immigrants are to unmarried women, 11 percent among Asian/Pacific Islander immigrants, and 12 percent among white immigrants.

Native born Hispanics have double the illegitimacy rate of native born whites.

* There is no indication of improvement over the generations. The illegitimacy rate among the native-born is 50 percent for Hispanics; 30 percent for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 24 percent for whites.

* 2003 is the first time that the absolute number of illegitimate births to Hispanic women (immigrant and native) outnumbered illegitimate births to black women (immigrant and native).

* Out-of-wedlock births are highest for those with the least education; among immigrant mothers who lack a high school diploma, 45 percent of births are illegitimate.

* The country is currently debating whether to legalize illegal aliens or, alternatively, to enforce the law and cause them to return home. Since 60 percent of illegals lack a high school diploma and 80 percent are Hispanic, legalization would likely contribute to the illegitimacy problem by enabling illegal aliens to remain in the United States.

We should stop the immigration of groups that have high rates of illegitimacy and low rates of educational achievement. Better yet, we should stop immigration altogether.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 April 22 09:40 PM  Immigration Societal Decay

John S Bolton said at April 24, 2007 4:41 PM:

These must be the family values that don't stop at the Rio Grande,
where good-hearted, hard-working foreign criminals are just trying to put food on the table for their
illegitimate households. Let's get more of those welfare 'family' values.

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