Volume 12 - Article 4 | Pages 77-104

A cross-over in Mexican and Mexican-American fertility rates: Evidence and explanations for an emerging paradox

By Reanne Frank, Patrick Heuveline

Print this page  Twitter


Date received:29 Sep 2004
Date published:11 Mar 2005
Word count:6321
Keywords:fertility, Mexican-Americans, Mexican-Origin, Mexico


Against a backdrop of two new developments in the fertility behavior of the Mexican- Origin population in the U.S., the present discussion will update contemporary Mexican-Origin fertility patterns and address several theoretical weaknesses in the current approach to minority group fertility. Data come from six national surveys (three from Mexico and three from the U.S.) that cover a twenty-five year period (1975-2000). The findings demonstrate dramatic decreases in the fertility rates in Mexico at the same time that continuous increases have been documented in the fertility rates of third-or-later generation Mexican-Americans in the U.S., particularly at younger ages.
These changes necessitate a reexamination of the ubiquitous theory that Mexican pronatalist values are responsible for the high fertility rates found within the Mexican-Origin population in the U.S. Instead, they point to the increasing relevance of framing the fertility behavior of the Mexican-Origin population within a racial stratification perspective that stresses the influence of U.S. social context on fertility behavior. As a step in this direction, the analysis examines fertility patterns within the Mexican-Origin population in the U.S. Special attention is given to the role of nativity/generational status in contributing to within group differences.

Author's Affiliation

Reanne Frank - Ohio State University, United States of America [Email]
Patrick Heuveline - University of Chicago, United States of America [Email]

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Patterns of contraceptive use among Mexican-origin women
Volume 28 - Article 41    | Keywords: fertility, Mexico

» The interrelationship of fertility, family maintenance and Mexico-U.S. Migration
Volume 17 - Article 28    | Keywords: fertility, Mexico

» Lifetime reproduction and the second demographic transition: Stochasticity and individual variation
Volume 33 - Article 20    | Keywords: fertility

» Modeling the fertility impact of the proximate determinants: Time for a tune-up
Volume 33 - Article 19    | Keywords: fertility

» The 1918 influenza pandemic and subsequent birth deficit in Japan
Volume 33 - Article 11    | Keywords: fertility