Mexican Birth Rate:
Many years ago I was reading in a text about evolution.  The writer pointed out serenely that evolution did not have to be dramatic.  This was a wholesome balance to the usual Darwinian approach of “struggle for existence.”  The usual story goes that the reproductive rate is always so high that some member of any mating group – human or animal – are ultimately going to starve, so victory is to the strong, lunch to the quick and ruthless and society like nature is red in tooth and claw.  The writer pointed out that as of the time of writing certain religious groups had a higher birth rate than others and that this represented evolution going on quietly among us. 

At the time it was common coin the Roman Catholics forbad birth control and that this was why they had a high birth rate.  I thought I detected in the tone of the writer, who at that time most likely was Protestant, a slight overtone of regret if not actual panic.  I think I wronged the man.  I have now had enough experience with people who shrug off their own impending extinction so that I think he truly did not care.

Sometimes I seem, perhaps carelessly, to pick up the same tone when people talk about immigration.  The message is more or less, “The southern border of the United States is wide open.  People are pouring in.  Arab terrorists could bring a bomb in that way and we would be powerless to stop them.”  Those who claim a better understanding than I do say this is most unlikely.  Such a team would never make it through not because they were terrorists but because they were Arabs.  There are plenty of people out there who hate America, but the Mexicans are old friends.  They don’t really hate us.  If anything their attitude is that we are like a somewhat embarrassing family member. 

The border has been toughened up so that the terrorist fear has become even less logical.  But there is still the sense sometimes that we are being overrun with Mexicans.  It would be wrong to say there are not a lot of them, but it would be equally wrong that this is a great threat to the interests of those whose ancestors have been American citizens for a long time.

Here is the birth rate in Mexico.  The source is



Birth rate (births/1,000 population)



















Definition of Birth rate: This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year per 1,000 persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the level of fertility and the age structure of the population.



As you can see, the birth rate is falling.  Somewhat more eloquently,  here are the same numbers graphed out. 


This is the birth rate in Mexico itself from 2000 to 2008.  In eight years the fall was from over 23 to about 20.  And to me that looks like a straight line.  The line would hit bottom in about 50 years.  If women have children until they are 40, then the last Mexican woman who will ever have a child will be born about 10 years from now. 

This hardly has the makings of the United States being overrun in future generations.  The cause, of course, is almost surely the fact that Mexico, like everyplace else in the world, has had its local mating strategy disrupted by globalization and even more by urbanization but probably most of all simply by more convenient local travel.  People are choosing from a larger social pool.  Unless that stops, the fall in fertility cannot stop.  It is hard to believe that those who have left Mexico permanently to come here face a brighter future. 

We may be doomed, but it is our own fault.  Don’t try to pin it on Mexico.

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