“Hispanic Heritage Month”—What’s to Celebrate? Part II: Unmarried Mothers And The Coming Underclass
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(See also by Linda Thom: "Hispanic Heritage Month"—What's To Celebrate?)

In celebrating “Hispanic Heritage Month” (September 15-October 16) by documenting the negative impacts of Hispanic over-immigration, we continue with a look at the most current national, state and county data on birth mothers. The numbers come from birth certificate questionnaires completed by parents at the time of their children’s births.

At the national level, the Centers for Disease Control collect all state data and publish it annually. The table below comes from Tables 13 and 14 of the annual reports for 2000 and 2008. It shows the births by race and ethnicity of the babies’ mothers. (NH means Non-Hispanic.)

Births By Ethnicity

Source: CDC National Vital Statistics System

See also the US Census figures on Total Fertility Rate by Race and Hispanic Origin, Teenagers—Births and Birth Rates, and Births to Unmarried Women, by age by race, Hispanic origin, and age of mother. [PDF]

(Note that American Indian and Asian/Pacific Islanders may also be Hispanic which causes the cross-tabulations to differ.)

In words: Between 2000 and 2008, annual births increased by only 188,880—because births to Non-Hispanic Whites declined. Births to Hispanic women increased by 225,371 annually and to Asian/Pacific Islanders [API] by 52,642 annually.

Obviously, immigration has something to do with this. And here is the proof. In this same period, annual births to foreign-born mothers increased by 159,356. Therefore, 84 percent of that annual birth increase 188,880 was the result of increased births to immigrants.

In 2008, 60 percent of Hispanic birth-mothers and 80 percent of API birth-mothers were immigrants.

Hispanic unmarried mothers

Here is more bad news. In 2008, over half (52.6%) of Hispanic birth mothers were not married.

So much for Hispanic family values.

The CDC does not report marriage rates for native- versus foreign-born women. But the rates of non-marriage for other races and ethnicities are:

NH-Whites 28.7 percent; NH-Blacks 72.3 percent; American Indian 65.8 percent; API 16.9 percent.

(Yes, Blacks and American Indians have higher rates of unmarried mothers than Hispanics.)

So Hispanic births are increasing and over half of the mothers are not married. Between 2000 and 2008, unmarried Hispanic mothers accounted for 53 percent of the annual increase in births to unmarried women.

California data demonstrates the significance of these very unhappy trends. Number And Percent Of Live Births With Selected Demographic Characteristics By Race/Ethnic Group Of Mother, California, 2009.

In 2009, Hispanic women accounted for 51 percent of births in the state but they made up two-thirds of unmarried mothers, according to the California Department of Public Health Sixty percent of Hispanic birth mothers were foreign-born, mostly Mexican, and 40 percent were U.S.-born. According to CDC data, in 2000, 108,678 unmarried, Hispanic women gave birth in California. By 2009, according to California data, births to unmarried Hispanic women rose by 33,207 births annually to a total of 141,885.

There are many reasons to worry about unmarried motherhood, but here’s an important one: Children who live in single-parent households are much more likely to live in poverty than those who live with both parents. The level of maternal education also affects poverty but marital status is much more important. See The Effects of Marriage and Maternal Education in Reducing Child Poverty By Robert Rector and Kirk Johnson, Heritage Foundation, August 2, 2002

Hispanic Teen Pregnancy

In February, the CDC announced that teen birth rates were on their way down.

But the CDC folks failed to report the absolute numbers of teen births by race and ethnicity. Here are the teen-birth numbers from the annual birth reports for 2000 and 2008.

Teen Births


Births to teens declined by 37,180 annually. But births to Hispanic teens increased by 14,644 annually.

In California, in 2009, Hispanics accounted for 73 percent of all teen births (47,811) and 71 percent of these girls were U.S citizens. Nationally, California has been the epicenter of immigration and many of the Hispanic teen mothers are second and third generation citizens there.

The inflow to California continues. In 2009, 43 percent of new mothers were immigrants and half of total births for the state were to Hispanic women, both native- and foreign-born.

The Salinas Valley Microcosm

Recently I reported from the Salinas Valley in Monterey County, California. By focusing in on the Salinas Valley, we can get a better understanding of the negative impacts of Hispanic immigration.

Why Salinas Valley? In its September press release celebrating “Hispanic Heritage Month”, the Census Bureau reported that Salinas, California, had the 9th largest percentage of Hispanic residents in the country. Immigrants began coming in force during the 80’s and then the flood gates opened after the passage of The Immigration and Control Act was passed in 1986.[Where Are All These Poor People Coming From, Social Contract  Summer 2005 PDF]

Agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Salinas Valley. Monterey County leads the state in 10 commodities: lettuce, strawberries, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, salad greens, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage and artichokes. Many of these crops are very labor intensive, especially strawberries.

Clearly, farmers like cheap, Hispanic labor. But how is this working out for taxpayers? Not very well. The Salinas Valley data demonstrates that cheap labor is in fact very expensive.

The Salinas Valley is in Monterey County and counties collect birth certificate data in California. PDF The Monterey County Health Department reports that in 2010, 74 percent of births were to Hispanics but Hispanic girls accounted for 88 percent of teen births—683 Hispanic-teen births out of 778 total teen births. Of the teen births, Mexican-born teens accounted for 47 percent of the births. U.S. citizens accounted for 45 percent of the teen births. Other foreign-born girls accounted for the remainder.

The county does not publish data on marital status of mothers. Nevertheless, nationally and in California as a whole, over half of Hispanic mothers are not married and Monterey is probably no exception.

And are these mothers poor? Yes, they are.

According to Monterey numbers, 6,708 children were born in 2010, and 62 percent were Medicaid funded. In California, Medicaid is titled Medi-Cal. Three-quarters of mothers with Salinas Valley zip codes (South Monterey County) used Medi-Cal to fund their deliveries.

California has problem funding public education for all these children. Each child costs over $8,000 a year to educate and the total fertility rate of Hispanic women is almost 3 children per woman. Three times $8,000 per year equals $24,000—but the average wage of Hispanics, according to the Census Bureau, is just over $10,000 annually.

This cheap labor is a huge loser for taxpayers who have to pick up the tab for educating its children. The table below lists 5 school districts along the Highway 101 corridor through the Salinas Valley. The data is from the California Department of Education website.

You can go there and view Monterey County's profile  yourself or the King City Joint Union High School District, with its 89.9 percent Hispanic enrolment. See chart.)



% Hispanic

% non-English

% Free lunch

% Comp Ed*

King City Union





Gonzales Unified





Greenfield Union





Chualar Union





Salinas City Elem






The right column is the percentage of students designated Compensatory Education which is a Federal Title I and state funded program for low-achieving schools with a high proportion of transient, low-income or English- learner students.


(Why do Gonzales and Greenfield have 102% of students who are designated low-achievement? Who knows?)


Hispanic, immigrant workers bring a heritage of negative economic and social characteristics. Their children, many of them U.S. born-citizens, display these same negative economic and social characteristics and their grandchildren display these same negative characteristics.

The United States does not need any more poor, uneducated workers. What our country does need is an immigration moratorium.

Linda Thom [email her]  is a retiree and refugee from California. She formerly worked as an officer for a major bank and as a budget analyst for the County Administrator of Santa Barbara.

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