Immigration and Economics

Key facts, also from Pew Foundation:

  • Immigration accounts for half of US population growth since 1965.

Why does that matter? Without population growth, as has been the case for Japan in the last decide, the domestic economy shrinks and there is greater pressure on taxes, Medicare and Social Security, due to fewer workers supporting the burden. The cost of the military and other government functions is divided among fewer people. It’s actually not a pretty picture. Some modest population growth is essential for a healthy economy.

  • Immigrants and their US born children now account for 1/4 of the US population. By 2065, if that trend continues, they will be 1/3 of the population.
  • Hispanic immigration is slowing and the forecast is that Asians (from India and China, primarily) will surpass the number of Hispanics living in the US.

Basically, we’re looking at a reshuffling of society, in which no one ethnic group is dominant. Were moving toward a US in which the major ethnic groups are Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic, with African-Americans holding a distant 4th position in terms of numbers.

Bottom line: If one tries to close the border to all immigration, population growth stops and the individual tax burden will skyrocket.

As I’ve shown in other posts, the major barriers to people having children in the US are the costs of daycare, education, healthcare and housing, none of which Congress or most state governments have wanted to tackle in the past. So we depend on immigrants for population growth.  In the state of New Jersey, immigrants have accounted for 100% of population growth for the last 10 years.

So, to keep the economy going, you either fix core problems and get internal population growth going, or accept continued immigration.

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