tive states, the National Center forrnHealth Statistics still did not compile anyrncorresponding national statistics.rnDuring those 11 years, Hispanic immigrationrncontinued unabated. Betweenrn1981 and 1992, of the more thanrnten million immigrants who were admittedrnto the United States, over four and arnhalf million came from Latin America.rnThese included both legal immigrantsrnand illegal aliens granted amnesty underrnthe 1986 Immigration Reform and ControlrnAct, which took effect in 1989. Thisrnnumber represented 45 percent of allrnlegal immigration during those years.rnBy 1990, the Hispanic population alreadyrntotaled more than 22 million, anrnincrease of 53 percent in ten years, andrnrepresented nine percent of the UnitedrnStates population.rnThat the National Center for HealthrnStatistics did not compile illegitimacyrnrate statistics on the exploding Hispanicrnpopulation prior to 1992 was even morernsurprising given the findings of the Fertilityrnand Family Statistics Branch of thernCensus Bureau: the fertility rate for Hispanicrninunigrants was nearly twice asrnhigh as that of native-born Americans.rnI’wo significant demographic results ofrnthis high fertility rate were reported byrnthe Census Bureau: 40 percent of Hispanicsrnwere under 20 years of age, comparedrnto 28 percent of non-Hispanics (anrnumbrella term encompassing all Asian-,rnAfrican-, and European-Americans); andrn23 percent of Hispanic families werernheaded by a female with no husbandrnpresent, compared to 16 percent of non-rnHispanic families.rnIn 1994, while the Fertility and Fami-rn1′ Statistics Branch of the Census Bureaurnstill did not establish separate categoriesrnfor “non-Hispanic whites” andrn”non-Hispanic white immigrants,” it didrnadd three new ones: “Hispanic immigrants,”rn”total Hispanics” (includes immigrantsrnand native-born), and “non-rnHispanic immigrants.” These newrncategories revealed a greater differencernin fertilitv rates between Hispanics andrnnon-Hispanics than had been estimatedrnin the 1980’s. The fertility rate per thousandrnwomen aged 15 to 44 was 120.8 forrn”Hispanic immigrants” but 65.6 forrn”non-Hispanic immigrants,” and 99.2 forrn”total Hispanics” but 61.5 for “nativeborn”rn(which includes both Hispanicsrnand non-Hispanics).rnThe National Center for HealthrnStatistics finally began to compile statisticsrnon both Hispanic and “non-Hispanicrnwhite” illegitimacy rates in 1992. Theyrnappear in its annual Advance Report ofrnFinal Natality Statistics. But, a fundamentalrnproblem remains. The statisticrnfor “non-Hispanic whites” appears onlyrnin one table (Table 11) at the end ofrnthese reports. The text, which is whatrnmost of the media cite, provides only illegitimacyrnrates for “whites,” “blacks,” andrn”Hispanics.” The public erroneously assumesrnthe official statistics for “white”rnand “Hispanic” illegitimacy rates arernmutually exclusive, but they are not. Torndetermine the annual illegitimacy raternfor “whites,” the National Center forrnHealth Statistics counts over 90 percentrnof all Hispanic women who gave birthrnduring that year a second time —asrn”white.” And 40 percent of all Hispanicrnbirths are illegitimate.rnThis practice inflates the official illegitimacyrnrate for “whites” by approximatelyrn20 percent. In 1992, while the illegitimacyrnrate for “whites” was 22.6rnpercent, it was really 18.5 percent forrn”non-Hispanic whites.” In 1993, thernrates were 23.6 percent and 19.5 percent,rnrespectively. In 1994, they were 25.4rnpercent and 20.8 percent, respectively.rnF’or 1995, the most recent year for whichrnstatistics are available, the illegitimacyrnrates were 25.3 percent for “whites” andrn21.2 percent for “non-Hispanic whites.”rnThe decline in the “white” illegitimacyrnrate for 1995 was due to a technicalrnchange adopted that year by Californiarnfor recording Hispanic births. Since inrnHispanic culture a hyphenated lastrnname is assumed to denote married parents,rnCalifornia now classifies a Hispanicrnmother as “married” if she has given herrnchild a double surname (her own andrnthe father’s), either entire surnames orrnportions thereof, and regardless of sequence.rnThis method of identifying thernmarital status of a Hispanic mother mayrnnot be very reliable, however, since thernNational Center for Health Statisticsrnnotes the “high incidence” of unmarriedrnHispanic couples living together. Therefore,rnthe Hispanic illegitimacy rate isrnnow most likely being officiallv undercountedrnin California.rnChanging the method of reporting thernmarital status of Hispanic mothers producedrna statistical decline in the overallrnillegitimacy rate in California from 36rnpercent in 1994 to 32 percent in 1995.rnSince nearly 40 percent of all Hispanicrnbirths in the United States are to residentsrnof California, this local change hadrnan impact on national statistics.rnThe release in 1992 of the first statisticsrnon the illegitimacy rate of Hispanicsrnshowed 39 percent of all Hispanic birthsrnwere illegitimate. This rate increasedrnconsistentiy over the next hvo years. Inrn1993, it was 40 percent; and in 1994, itrnwas 43 percent. By introducing this newrnmethod of determining the marital statusrnof Hispanic mothers in California, the illegitimaternbirth rate for Hispanics nationwidernwas statistically reduced by overrntwo percent.rnEven with the change in reportingrnprocedures and the resulting statisticalrn”decline” in illegitimate births to Hispanicrnmothers, however, the Hispanic illegitimacyrnrate in 1995 was still over 40rnpercent and still higher than the rates forrn1992 and 1993. When the “Hispanic”rncategory is broken down bv recognizedrnsubgroups, the illegitimacy rates in 1995rnwere: Mexican, 38 percent; Cuban, 24rnpercent; Puerto Rican, 60 percent; Centralrnand South American, 44 percent;rnand other Hispanics, 44 percent. Withrnthe exception of “Central and SouthrnAmerican,” which declined slightly fromrn45.2 percent in 1993 to 44.1 percent inrn1995, all other rates were higher thanrnthey were in 1992 and 1993. Thesernstatistics refute the claim of Hispanic politicalrnand church leaders that the Hispanicrncommunity and its recognizedrnsubgroups are among the leading practitionersrnof “family values” in the UnitedrnStates.rnIf the United States government is everrngoing to produce accurate demographicrnstatistics on illegitimacy rates orrnanything else, it must deal with the problemsrnoutlined above. As things standrnnow, the politics of illegitimacy raternstatistics serve only one purpose—to advancernthe ongoing eiforts of the promotersrnof multiculturalism, bilingualism,rnand Third World immigration to dispossessrnEuropean-Americans of their countryrnand culture.rnJoseph E. Fallon, who writes from Rye,rnNew York, is co-editor of the seven-volumernseries, German-Americans in the WorldrnWars (K.G. Sam, Munich).rnTO SUBSCRIBE.rn1-800-877-5459rnAPRIL 1998/45rnrnrn