New NPG Paper Sees Immigration Becoming Main Driver of U.S. Population Growth

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Analysis of recent Census Bureau data shows America’s immigrant population at an all-time high, projected to become main source of national population growth.

Despite a weak economy, immigration has not lost its momentum - and within 2 decades will become the main driver of U.S. population growth.

The Census Bureau reported on October 23rd that America’s immigrant population reached an all-time high of 41.3 million in 2013, showing a growth rate of three percent per year since 1990 (three times the national growth rate) despite a modest slowing of entries since the 2008 recession. According to the report, the foreign-born now constitute 13.1 percent of the U.S. population – which is likely to soon surpass the nation’s all-time high of 14.8 percent in 1890.

In response to the Census data, today Negative Population Growth (NPG) has released a new Forum paper titled "Foreign-Born Population Keeps Rising: Immigration Trumps Critical Need for U.S. Population Reduction." The paper asserts that the robust increases of the foreign-born shown in Census’ figures – despite a weak economy – confirm that immigration has not lost its momentum, and within two decades is likely to displace natural increase as the main driver of U.S. population growth.

Senior NPG Advisor David Simcox, who authored the Forum paper, adds: “rapid growth and higher fertility rates within the foreign-born population have entailed similarly robust growth in the numbers of American-born children of immigrants. Currently estimated at 36 million, this population of U.S.-born children is a major stimulant to the current overall national population growth of 2.3 million per year.”

Simcox’s report assesses the domestic and international factors that now keep immigration high and growing. He notes: “On the domestic side, leadership in both major U.S. political parties pursue economic growth at all costs – and prize high immigration and population growth as vital ingredients. Other major political and cosmopolitan forces value high immigration as a form of global social work, morally enriching the nation through humanitarian engagement and increased diversity.”

Simcox concludes: “Globally, recent U.N. projections now show high fertility in the developing world declining more slowly than once foreseen. Rapid population growth and urbanization among major emigrant-exporting nations – which now have extensive family, ethnic, and job networks in the U.S. – portend a steady rise in entries, with annual net immigration likely to reach or exceed two million by 2050. World-wide demand for settlement in the U.S. is astronomical, and America’s prevailing attitude is acquiescence.”

In response to the new Forum paper, NPG President Don Mann states: “Americans must remember that the U.S. is the world’s most overpopulated nation, in terms of the massive demands on its resources. High immigration is distancing Americans from what should be an urgent national goal: population stability, followed by reduction of the national population to a level consistent with long-term sustainability and environmental health.” Mann appealed again for ending immigration’s role as a major population booster, calling for a commitment to zero-net migration, or about 200,000 admissions a year.

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its 10 Principles for a Responsible U.S. Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at http://www.NPG.org.

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