Religion, Religiousness and Hispanic Fertility in the United States

Charles Westoff, Princeton University

Based on fertility survey data, this is an analysis of the extent to which the higher fertility of Hispanic women in the United States can be explained by religious differences with non-Hispanics. Preliminary findings indicate that Catholic – Protestant differences appear not to be relevant. Born Again Christians show somewhat higher fertility but this is evident among non-Hispanics as well. The analysis will focus on differences in religiousness, particularly as measured by the perceived importance of religion in everyday life which is much higher among Hispanics and strongly associated with fertility. The study will look at the persistence of the association with religiousness in both populations in connection with traditional family values, gender roles, marriage, poverty and education and wanted and unwanted births. This will be the third paper focusing on the relevance of religious factors for fertility, the first on Europe – U.S. differences and the second on Muslim fertility in Europe.

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Presented in Session 30: Religion, Changing Ideologies and Fertility