Pew: Immigrants Will Account For 88% of US Population Growth by 2065

By Sam Dorman | October 21, 2015 | 12:22 PM EDT

(AP photo)

( -- If current demographic trends continue, over 100 million future immigrants and their descendants will account for 88 percent of population growth in the U.S. over the next 50 years, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center.

Pew's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data projects that the total population of the United States will increase by 117 million people, from 324 million in 2015 to 441 million people in 2065.

Without immigration, the projected U.S. population in 2065 would be 338 million, according to Pew.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) recently released a chart, using Pew data, showing that for every native-born American added to the country’s current population, immigration will add seven more over the next half century. One in five immigrants worldwide currently reside in the U.S.

With 103 million first- or second-generation immigrants comprising 36 percent of the U.S. population by 2065, Pew estimates that in 50 years, a record 17.7 percent of the U.S. population will be foreign-born - compared to the current 14 percent and five percent in 1965.

Pew also reports that since 1965, foreign-born immigrants have been the main driver of U.S. population growth as well as demographic change. The report argues that 1965 saw a major shift in immigration policy with the passage of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The 1965 law changed the criteria for immigrants admitted to the United States. Before 1965, quotas were assigned to countries based on how nationalities were represented in the census. According to Pew, 70 percent of visas were reserved for immigrants from Europe, primarily the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany. Prior to 1965, 80 percent of immigrants were white. 

However, the new immigration system abandoned national origin quotas, and  instead focused on bringing in relatives of U.S. citizens, as well as taking in immigrants based on their skills in the workplace.

Since the 1965 changes in the law, three quarters of immigrants to the U.S. have been Hispanics and Asians. Hispanics currently represent 47 percent of immigrants, while Asians represent 26 percent. 

While whites currently comprise the majority of Americans (62 percent), Pew projects that they will only make up 46 percent of the population in 2065. Hispanics are expected to make up 24 percent, a six percent increase from 2015, while Asians are expected to make up 14 percent of the population.  

Meanwhile, the black percentage of the U.S. population is expected to grow slightly from 12 to 13 percent. Similarly, the black percentage of immigrants is expected to rise only one percent in the next 50 years, from eight percent to nine percent.

By 2055, "no racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of the U.S. population," Pew predicts.

Sponsored Links