Asians will be largest immigrant group in U.S. in 50 years: Pew study

Pew_Immigration_ProjectionsInteresting demographic shift and may, over time, shift immigration debate in USA:

In a major shift in immigration patterns over the next 50 years, Asians will have surged past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to the United States, according to estimates in a new immigration study.

The study looks in detail at what will happen by 2065, but the actual tipping point comes in 2055.

An increase in Asian and Hispanic immigration also will drive U.S. population growth, with foreign-born residents expected to make up 18 per cent of the country’s projected 441 million people in 50 years, the Pew Research Center said in a report being released Monday. This will be a record, higher than the nearly 15 per cent during the late 19th century and early 20th century wave of immigration from Europe.

Today, immigrants make up 14 per cent of the population, an increase from five per cent in 1965.

The actual change is expected to come in 2055, when Asians will become the largest immigrant group at 36 per cent, compared with Hispanics at 34 per cent. White immigrants to America, 80 per cent back in 1965, will hover somewhere between 18 and 20 per cent with black immigrants in the eight per cent to nine per cent range, the study said.

Without any post-1965 immigration, the U.S. would be 75 per cent white, 14 per cent black, eight per cent Hispanic and less than one per cent Asian, Pew said.

Currently, 47 per cent of immigrants living in the United States are Hispanic, but by 2065 that number will have dropped to 31 per cent. Asians currently make up 26 per cent of the immigrant population but in 50 years that percentage is expected to increase to 38 per cent.

Pew researchers analyzed a combination of Census Bureau information and its own data to develop its projections.

Part of the reason for the shift is that the fertility rate of women in Latin America and especially Mexico has decreased, said Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew’s director of Hispanic research. In Mexico, Lopez said, women are now having around two children, when back in the 1960s and 1970s, they were having about seven children per woman.

“There are relatively fewer people who would choose to migrate from Mexico so demographic changes in Mexico have led to a somewhat smaller pool of potential migrants,” he said. “At the same time we’ve seen a growing number of immigrants particularly from China or India who are coming for reasons such as pursuing a college degree or coming here to work temporarily in the high-tech sector.”

Source: Asians will be largest immigrant group in U.S. in 50 years: Pew study – World – CBC News

Link to study: Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to US, Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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