USA Today reported that researchers from the University of New Hampshire and Cornell University released a study that sheds light on some of the factors driving increases in the United States’ Latino population.
The study utilized data from both the US Census and National Center for Health Statistics and found that, from 2000 to 2007, the Latino population increased by over 10 million, 6.8 million of which were because of natural increases (excess births over deaths).
The study also distinguished between population growth in rural and urban areas. In rural areas, Latinos contributed to 46% of the population gain and 53% of the natural increase while comprising 5.4% of the population. In urban areas, Latinos made up 50% of the population growth, 47% of the natural increase and 14% of the population.
In a climate where most of the discourse about Latinos stems from debates over immigration and immigration reform, this finding can be overlooked. While we must continue to press for comprehensive and fair immigration reform, we must also not overlook the importance of ensuring that Latinas, especially immigrant women, have access to prenatal care to ensure the healthy delivery of their babies.