The Growth and Changing Spatial Distribution of America’s Hispanic Children

Kenneth M. Johnson, University of New Hampshire
Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University

This paper documents the changing racial and ethnic mix of America's children. Specifically, we focus on the unusually rapid growth and changing spatial distribution of America's Hispanic children. Hispanics currently represent 14 percent of the total U.S. population. Yet, between 2000 and 2007 Hispanics accounted for more than one-half of all U.S. population growth. Natural increase -- primarily high fertility rates -- played an unusually large demographic role in this regard. Our results reveal that Hispanic children accounted for roughly 25 percent of all U.S. children aged 0-4. This contrasts with much lower percentages among other age groups of children. Clearly, recent high rates of fertility among the Hispanic population are transforming the racial and ethnic mix of America's children. This pattern is diffusing spatially. Our analyses suggest that the proportion of all children that are of Hispanic origin is growing rapidly both in new urban and rural Hispanic destinations.

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Presented in Poster Session 5