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White-Hispanic Differences in Meeting Lifetime Fertility Intentions in the U.S.

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionHartnett, Caroline Sten. "White-Hispanic Differences in Meeting Lifetime Fertility Intentions in the U.S." PSC Research Report No. 12-773. September 2012.

Hispanics in the U.S. have higher fertility than Whites but it is not clear why this difference exists nor whether fertility levels reflect the preferences of individuals in these groups. This paper examines the correspondence between fertility intentions and outcomes for Hispanic and White women and men in the U.S. Panel data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth reveals that that although Hispanic women and men come closer to achieving early-life parity intentions in the aggregate (Hispanic women fall short by a quarter of a birth, compared to more than two-fifths for Whites), at the individual level, they are not more likely to meet their intentions (34% of Hispanic women achieve their desired parity, compared with 38% of Whites). Hispanics have higher fertility than Whites both because they intend more children and because they are more likely to exceed these intentions.

Country of focus: United States of America.

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