Latinas Are Having Fewer Babies... ¿Por Qué?

The days of Latinas having a large litter of kids are long-gone.

According to a recent piece published in The New York Times, the birthrate in the United States has hit a record low, led by a decline in births to immigrant women. A recent report by the Pew Research Center states that the decline in birthrates was steepest among Latinas (25.7 percent, to be exact) – specifically Mexican-American women and women who emigrated from Mexico to the U.S. The Pew Research Center also found that the birthrates among all Latinos reached their lowest point in two decades back in 2010.

So what do you think has brought about this change in Latinas? We posed the question last night on our Instagram account, and several of our followers suggested Latinas’ shifting focus on their professional lives as a possible reason. Another follower pitched that the decline is “indicative of the options we have: career, financial, and birth control.”

“Less Catholics?” suggested another.

That seems likely. The New York Times suggested that attitudes within Latinos have changed since the days when their older generations followed Roman Catholic teachings more closely – which forbid artificial contraception. Other reasons include greater access to information about contraceptives and women’s health, and higher education.

Jersey Garcia, a public health worker in Miami and mother of two, is the first generation of her family to settle permanently outside of the Dominican Republic. She told The NYT that her maternal and paternal grandmothers had a total of 27 children. Garcia said that two is a good number that she can handle.

“Before, I probably would have been pressured to have more,” she told the Times. “I think living in the United States, I don’t have family members close by to help me, and it takes a village to raise a child. So the feeling is, keep what you have right now.”

What do you think about this sudden drop-off in Latinas’ birthrate? Sound off in our comments, or share your thoughts on our Instagram