The USA’s Total Fertility Rates by Race, 1980 to 2010


This graph has been updated with the newest data through 2013, here:
USA’s Total Fertility Rates by Race, 1980-2013




NOTE: This is a follow-up to a post made last year, “USA’s Total Fertility Rates by Race, 1980-2008”, the data for which ended in 2008.

The CDC recently released final fertility figures for 2010, and used Census-2010 data to update estimates for the entirety of the 2000s. I have produced the above graph, displaying the updated information broken down by race, and have included a table — below — on which that graph is based.

[Note: ‘Total Fertility Rate‘ refers to the estimated number of children a woman can expect to have in her lifetime, based on a specific year’s birth-rate. In advanced societies, ‘replacement fertility’ is said to be 2.1 — to replace the mother and father, and a 0.1 ‘surplus’ to account for retardation, death in childhood, and other factors. A modern society with a 1.05 TFR, then, would produce a child-generation half as large as the parent-generation. (1.05/2.1)]


Population Contraction (of native-born Americans): It’s humbling to think that the USA has had below replacement-fertility for the entirety of the period of this dataset. The 1970s were not fertile years, either. One must go back to 1971, actually, to find a year in which the USA had a TFR comfortably-above the replacement level of 2.1. (It was 2.26 in 1971, but quickly falling — 2.01 in 1972, and 1.88 in 1973). Forty years, and counting, of not replacing ourselves. The USA’s overall TFR flirted with exact-replacement fertility in 2006 and 2007 amid the height of the housing-bubble.

Note on ‘White’ TFR and White population contraction: A caveat is in order. Race-fertility calculations in the USA are based on race of mother. By the late 2000s, ~10% of the babies born to American White women were fathered by Nonwhite men. The American ‘White-White TFR’ (babies with two White parents) would thus be ~1.6 in 2010 (down from ~1.7 before the recession). [White-Female-Fertility (x) Share of those births to White fathers = 1.79* 0.9].

Late-1980s Optimism: All groups saw a fertility rise in the late 1980s (See Western Civilizational Pride, 1986-2002“), which by the early-to-mid 1990s had receded for Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Amerindians, but — curiously — remained for Whites. White fertility was boosted by a respectable ~15% in the years straddling the fall of Communism, and it held onto that gain, remarkably consistently, through the 1990s and 2000s.

The Housing Bubble: All the Nonwhite groups saw a noticeable rise in fertility in the mid-2000s. This was the era of the “Housing Bubble”, which was caused by government-mandated cheap housing loans primarily to Nonwhites, as Steve Sailer has pointed out. (And which ultimately caused the recession). Whites, too, saw a small bump in the mid-2000s, but theirs was the miniscule.

Late 2000s Recession: All the temporary gains driven by the Housing Bubble were given back, and then some, by the soft economy of the past five years. The USA’s recession technically began at the end of 2007, so we would assume fewer babies would have been born in 2008, which is true. Indeed, 2007 was a high-water-mark year for USA fertility in the 21st century thus far, across all racial groups. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, we have seen declining fertility, particularly dramatic for Hispanics.

Hispanics: A casual glance at this graph may suggest that something big is underway within the Hispanic community in the USA. Actually, Hispanics may have been at the 2.3-2.4 TFR range by the early-2010s anyway, if not for the subprime-mortgage initiative boosting their TFR for a while. (One can clearly see a ‘bubble’ in their TFR line — It is easy to imagine a gradual slide from their 2.6-2.7 range of the late 1990s to the 2.3-2.4 by the late 2000s. In other words, Hispanic TFR has now settled into where it would have been without the federal subsidy on Nonwhite Affordable Family Creation (NAFC — it might as well have an acronym). Also something to consider if that high-fertility Hispanic recent-immigrant women, which have always lifted Hispanic fertility rates, probably stayed home, especially in 2009 and 2010 — when economic news was bleakest.

American Indians: Nothing in this chart is as dramatic as the collapse of American-Indian fertility, from a respectable 2.2 in 1990 to a weak 1.4 in 2010. I cannot explain this.

Data Source
National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 61, tables 4 and 8. (Published in 2012).

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33 Responses to The USA’s Total Fertility Rates by Race, 1980 to 2010

  1. statsquatch says:

    How amerindian are the women who identify as amerindian? There maybe some Elizabeth Warren’s out there who like to identify as indian. I suspect these faux-cohauntus are not a fertile group.

    • Hail says:

      Good point! — I had not thought of that.

      1.1 million
      “Increase in the nation’s American Indian and Alaska Native population between the 2000 Census and 2010 Census. The population of this group increased by 26.7 percent during this period compared with the overall population growth of 9.7 percent.” [Source]

      How could they increase by so much with a TFR in the ~1.6 range in the 2000s? They must have had ‘converts’, left-wing Whites like Ward Churchill and Elizabeth Warren who grasp at straws of purported distant Indian ancestry for social-political reasons (If Ward Churchill is half as anti-White (frankly) as he seems, it’s a lot more pleasant to imagine him an Indian in the tradition of the AIM, rather than just another White ethnomasochist), and/or get affirmative action handouts (apparently, in the latter case).

    • Hail says:

      I realize that (another) possibility for the origin of these 1.1 million new ‘phantom Indians’, above the 4.1 million in 2000, is Mesitzos choosing to identify as ‘Amerindian’, or, full-blooded Latin-American Indians identifying as American-Indian.

      This would certainly not explain the fertility collapse, though.

  2. Daniel says:

    The recession starting in 2008 seems to have reduced fertility across the board.

  3. Daniel says:

    There were recessions in 1990/1991 and 2000/2001 as well that seem to have reduced fertility.

    • Hail says:

      Interestingly, this is not really the case for Whites. There is no significant White TFR decline evident in the early 1990s recession (1989=1.77, a TFR Whites have not touched since then; White TFRs in every year since then have been above 1.77), or the early 2000s recession.

      This would lend support to the thesis that “having babies is driven heavily by ‘civilizational optimism‘…”

      At the same time, I agree in principle that weak economies depress fertility. That should be obvious. From the end of 1989 to the end of 1991 was a period of a relatively weak American economy, and so — all else equal — we should expect lower TFRs in 1991 and 1992.

      The fact that White TFR didn’t really decline significantly from its 1990 peak means the ‘Western pride’ bump (if true) actually still had momentum in it that we do not see; it would have been even stronger than is evident, in that it concealed what would have been a recession-induced natural TFR decline. Rather than a 15% bump, Whites may have gained 20%-25% in TFR, but “given 5-10% back” (so to speak) because of the recession.

  4. RS-prime says:

    > Also something to consider if that high-fertility Hispanic recent-immigrant women, which have always lifted Hispanic fertility rates, probably stayed home, especially in 2009 and 2010 — when economic news was bleakest

    Stayed in Latin America, you mean, I presume. That sounds sensible and accords with all that I’ve heard. And that seems to be the salient news here. The other salient news, actually non-news, is that major NAM superiority in fecundity persists even though it has taken a big hit.

    Another caveat is that SW Eurasians are probably accounted White in these figures. Perhaps Persians and Afghans even.

    • Hail says:

      Stayed in Latin America, you mean


      White TFR
      2006-7: 1.905
      2010: 1.79 [94.0% of the pre-recession peak level]

      Hispanic TFR
      2006-7: 2.85
      2010: 2.35 [82.5% of the pre-recession peak level]

      For those concerned with ‘Hispanicization of the USA’, recession seems to be a good thing.

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  7. EiOw says:

    Who is white? I think American data gathering is primitive. I’m sure Middle Eastern people (including Jews), North Africans and a few mixed race Latinos are counted in the “white” category. The number of categories need to expand greatly. Instead of 5 categories there should be 10-15 categories and the ability to select more than one. We are not getting an accurate measure with just 5 categories.

    • Hail says:

      What 10-15 categories would you introduce?

      • EiOw says:

        I would suggest East Asian, Central Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, Aboriginal Australian, Middle Eastern, North African, West African, East African, San African, Northern European, Eastern European, Southern European, South Amerindian, North Amerindian, and North Asian and Inuit. That’s actually 17.

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  10. Everything is very open with a clear description
    of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  11. Steve Sailer says:

    The high Hispanic fertility around 1990 was part of a bubble caused by the 1986 illegal alien amnesty. Hispanic fertility in California jumped sharply in 1988 due to the amnesty.

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  13. wittytongue says:

    I wonder if “whites” include mixed race kids by other races by white women? I see SO many white women with mixed race kids. Ditto with white dads and their mix raced kids.

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  18. James Quezada says:

    Very nice blog post. I certainly love this site. Keep writing!

  19. Ben says:

    Correction: In 2007 the white fertility hit a high not seen since 1990: 1.91
    The white fertility rate declined to 1.76 in 2012, and rose to 1.81 in 2013. And to be clear, a white mother-hispanic father’s child would be classified as Hispanic, which is part of the reason why the hispanic population has grown so much until now.

  20. Doug Forbes says:

    The Total Fertility of Hispanic women has a history of exceeding Completed Fertility for Hispanic women by about 19%. Total Fertility contains elements of projection. So Total fertility is in part a prediction rather than fact. Completed fertility is simple fact. If Total Fertility for Hispanic women is calculated at 2.35, it is a good bet that completed fertility will be 1.9.

  21. Doug Forbes says:

    If you want real and meaning-full vital statistics, about 60% of babies born in 2014 were white with nonSpanish surnames. Another 10% are white with Spanish surnames. About 6% are mestizo with Spanish surnames. About 15% had at least one black parent. About 5% had two Asian parent2. About 1% had a tribal registration number and thus will be counted as American Indian. Most of the remainder had one Asian and one white parent.

  22. Pingback: Total Fertility Rates by Race in the USA, 1980-2013 | Hail To You

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I can explain collapse of native american fertility. I had an involuntary sterilization in a hospital while I was having surgery.

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