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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million Driving Population Growth Through 2065

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Molly Rohal, 202-419-4372, mrohal@pewresearch.org

Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065
New Survey Shows Views of Immigration’s Impact on U.S. Society Mixed

Fifty years after passage of the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act that rewrote U.S. immigration policy, nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the United States, pushing the country’s foreign-born share to a near-record 14%, according to a new Pew Research Center report. For the past half-century, these modern-era immigrants and their descendants have accounted for just over half (55%) of the nation’s population growth and have reshaped its racial and ethnic composition.

Between 1965 and 2015, new immigrants, their children and their grandchildren added 72 million people to the nation’s population as it grew from 193 million in 1965 to 324 million in 2015. Looking ahead, new Pew Research Center U.S. population projections show that if current demographic trends continue, future immigrants and their descendants will be an even bigger source of population growth. Between 2015 and 2065, they are projected to account for 88% of the U.S. population increase, or 103 million people, as the nation grows to 441 million.

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act made significant changes to U.S. immigration policy by sweeping away a long-standing national origins quota system that favored immigrants from Europe and replacing it with one that emphasized family reunification and skilled immigrants. Among immigrants who have arrived since 1965, half (51%) are from Latin America and one-quarter are from Asia.

As a result of its changed makeup and rapid growth, new immigration since 1965 has altered the nation’s racial and ethnic composition. In 1965, 84% of Americans were non-Hispanic whites. By 2015, that share had declined to 62%. Meanwhile, the Hispanic share of the U.S. population rose from 4% in 1965 to 18% in 2015. Asians also saw their share rise, from less than 1% in 1965 to 6% in 2015. The Pew Research Center analysis shows that without any post-1965 immigration, the nation’s racial and ethnic composition would be very different today: 75% white, 14% black, 8% Hispanic and less than 1% Asian.

By 2065, the composition of the nation’s immigrant population will change again. Asians are expected to become the largest immigrant group by 2055, surpassing Hispanics. Asian immigrants are projected to make up 38% of the foreign-born population by 2065, while the Hispanic share is expected to fall to 31%.

The country’s overall population will feel the impact of these future shifts. Non-Hispanic whites are projected to become less than half of the U.S. population by 2055 and 46% by 2065. By then, no racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, Hispanics will see their population share rise to 24% by 2065 from 18% today, while Asians will see their share rise to 14% by 2065 from 6% today.

These are some key findings of a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data and new Pew Research Center U.S. population projections through 2065, which provide a 100-year look at immigration’s impact on population growth and on racial and ethnic change. In addition, this report uses new data from a survey conducted from March 16 to April 6 using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel to examine U.S. public attitudes toward immigration. It also employs census data to analyze changes in the characteristics of recently arrived immigrants and paint a statistical portrait of the historical and 2013 foreign-born populations.

Among the findings:

· The U.S. has – by far – the world’s largest immigrant population, holding about one-in-five global immigrants. Immigration since 1965 has swelled the nation’s foreign-born population from 9.6 million then to a record 45 million in 2015. By 2065, the U.S. will have 78 million immigrants, according to the new Pew Research Center population projections.
· For the U.S. public, views of immigrants and their impact on U.S. society are mixed. Overall, 45% of Americans say immigrants in the U.S. are making American society better in the long run, while 37% say they are making it worse (16% say immigrants are not having much effect).
· Half of Americans want to see immigration to the U.S. reduced (49%). Eight-in-ten (82%) say the U.S. immigration system either needs major changes or it needs to be completely rebuilt.
· The source region of today’s newly arrived immigrants is markedly different than that of new arrivals in previous decades. Asia currently is the largest source region among recently arrived immigrants and has been since 2011. Before then, the largest source region since 1990 had been Central and South America, fueled by record levels of Mexican migration that have since slowed. The share of new arrivals who are Hispanic is now at its lowest level in 50 years.
· The foreign-born population has become more evenly dispersed across the country over time. Nearly half of immigrants (47%) lived in the Northeast in 1960, but only 22% did so in 2013. The share living in the South, meanwhile, increased from 10% in 1960 to 32% in 2013. Even so, the five U.S. counties with the largest foreign-born populations in 2013 (Los Angeles County, Calif.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Cook County, Ill.; Queens County, N.Y.; and Harris County, Tex.) accounted for fully 20% of the U.S. immigrant population (down from 30% in 1990).

The report is for immediate release and is available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/09/28/modern-immigration-wave-brings-59-million-to-u-s-driving-population-growth-and-change-through-2065/.

Accompanying the report are two embeddable interactives. The first is a legislative timeline highlighting key U.S. immigration policy legislation and executive actions since 1790: http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/09/28/selected-u-s-immigration-legislation-and-executive-actions-1790-2014/. The second is an interactive map showing, at the state level, the largest immigrant group in each state from 1850 through 2013:http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/09/28/from-ireland-to-germany-to-italy-to-mexico-how-americas-source-of-immigrants-has-changed-in-the-states-1850-to-2013/.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Molly Rohal at mrohal@pewresearch.org or 202-419-4372.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan “fact tank” that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. The center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder.

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