Illinois is seeing a decline in births, especially among Hispanics. Annual births in Illinois fell 8.6 percent from 2007 to 2010, while births among Hispanics dropped 15.4 percent (from 44,146 in 2007 to 37,359 in 2010).
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Kenneth M. Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire, says the overall decline is due to the down economy. The decline could be shaper for Hispanics for two reasons:
The economic downturn has hit Hispanics harder than the population as a whole, in terms of income declines and wealth lost.
Hispanic women, as a whole, tend to be younger mothers than the population as a whole, so they’re in a better position to wait for better economic conditions to have children. “It may be that they’re going to delay those children, but we don’t know. It may be that they never have them,” Johnson said.
This is a key demographic concern in Illinois, because 26 percent of births in Illinois are produced by Hispanics. The Hispanic population in Illinois grew substantially over the last decade, mostly due to births, to provide Illinois with the little overall population growth the state had.