Asians will be top immigrant group by 2065: Pew

There's a lot of data to digest in this Pew survey of immigration trends that was published today.  But the big takeaway is that by 2065, Hispanics will no longer be the largest immigrant group.  Asian immigrants will displace Hispanics by then, while the percentage of foreign-born immigrants will soar to 18%.

Asians will beat Hispanics to become America’s largest immigrant population by 2055, according to a Pew Research Center report released Monday. The study estimated the United States' immigrant population by 2065 and noted that the turning point comes in 2055 when 36 percent of the migrants will be from Asia.

Migrants are estimated to account for 88 percent of the increase in the American population between 2015 and 2065, the report stated. Currently, 14 percent of the population comprises immigrants compared to 5 percent in 1965.

"Without the immigrants, the U.S. population would start decreasing," said Pew demographer Jeff Passel, according to Reuters. "The big picture is that immigration has been the major demographic factor driving growth and change in the U.S. population over the last 50 years." 

At present, 47 percent of immigrants in the United States are Hispanic, whose number will drop to 31 percent by 2065. Asians, who currently make up 26 percent of the immigrant population, will shoot to 38 percent in five decades, the study showed.

However, no racial or ethnic group will hold a majority in the U.S., the report found. Whites, who currently constitute 62 percent of the country’s overall population, will make up 46 percent of the population in 50 years, whereas Hispanics will comprise 24 percent, Asians will be at 14 percent and blacks at 13 percent. Today, 18 percent of Hispanics, 12 percent blacks and 6 percent Asians constitute America’s population.

The Pew researchers analyzed census data, population projections and conducted a survey that collected opinions on immigrants from March 10 through April 6 this year. They surveyed 3,147 adults and had a plus or minus 2.4 percent margin of error.

According to the report, 45 percent of Americans said immigrants would make the society better in the long run while 37 percent said they would worsen the conditions. Of the total respondents, 16 percent said immigrants did not have much effect on the American society.

About half of those surveyed said immigrants were worsening the U.S. economy and leading to crimes. However, about the same percentage of people said immigrants were improving the food, music and arts scene in the country.

It should be pointed out that these are trends in immigration, subject to the vagaries of policies and external factors.  Suppose the U.S. were to curtail legal immigration severely.  That would certainly affect those numbers.  Or there could be a natural disaster/war to the south that would cause a massive increase in Hispanic migration.

The bottom line: white Americans are not having children at replacement levels, and their share of the population will drop below 50% by 2050.  This raises serious questions about what America will look like at that time, and what kind of country we will be.

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