Immigrant Population to Hit Highest Percentage Ever in 8 years

Article subtitle: 
1 in 7 U.S. residents will be foreign-born
Article publisher: 
Center for Immigration Studies
Article date: 
22 April 2015
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

New Census Bureau projections showing the enormous impact of immigration received little media attention upon their release last month. The Center for Immigration Studies has based a new analysis on these Census Bureau projections, which represent the Bureau’s first projection of the future size of the immigrant, or foreign-born, population. The Bureau found that by 2023 immigrants will account for more than one in seven U.S. residents (51 million) — the largest share ever recorded in American history. Driven largely by legal immigration, not illegal immigration, the immigrant population will grow to nearly one in five U.S. residents (78 million) by 2060. The total U.S. population will grow to almost 417 million by 2060 — 108 million more than in 2010.

“These numbers have important implications for workers, schools, infrastructure, congestion, and the environment,” observed Steven Camarota the Center’s Director of Research. “They also may have implications for our ability to successfully assimilate and integrate immigrants. Yet there has been almost no national debate about bringing in so many people legally each year, which is the primary factor driving these numbers.”
View the CIS analysis at: 

Among the Census Bureau findings:

  • Total net immigration (the difference between the number coming and going) will increase steadily over the next four and one-half decades, totaling 64 million.
  • Absent a change in current policy, the Census Bureau projects that in 2023 the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) will reach 14.8 percent (51 million) of the total U.S. population — the highest share ever recorded in American history.
  • The bureau also projects that the immigrant population will grow nearly four times faster than the native-born population, reaching 15.8 percent (57 million) of nation’s population in 2030, 17.1 percent (65 million) in 2040 and 18.8 percent (78 million) in 2060.
  • To place these numbers into historical context, as recently as 1990, immigrants were 7.9 percent (20 million) of the total U.S. population.
  • The nation’s total population will grow to 417 million by 2060 — 108 million more than in 2010. This increase is roughly equivalent to adding the combined populations of California, Texas, New York, Florida and Massachusetts to the country.
  • The new projections indicate that immigrants who will arrive in the future, absent a change in immigration policy, plus their descendants will account for roughly three-fourths of future U.S. population increase.
  • Other interesting findings in the projections show the rapid aging of the immigrant population. In 2015 immigrants accounted for 13 percent of the population 65 and older, roughly equal to their share of overall population. But by 2060 there will be 25.3 million immigrants in this age group accounting for 26 percent of all persons over 65.