2007 September 02 Sunday
Immigration Seen Causing Huge US Population Increase By 2060

Immigration is responsible for the bulk of US population growth.

  • Currently, 1.6 million legal and illegal immigrants settle in the country each year; 350,000 immigrants leave each year, resulting in net immigration of 1.25 million.
  • If immigration continues at current levels, the nationís population will increase from 301 million today to 468 million in 2060 ó a 167 million (56 percent) increase. Immigrants plus their descendents will account for 105 million (63 percent) of the increase.
  • The total projected growth of 167 million is equal to the combined populations of Great Britain, France, and Spain. The 105 million from immigration by itself is equal to 13 additional New York Cities.
  • If the annual level of net immigration was reduced to 300,000, future immigration would add 25 million people to the population by 2060, 80 million fewer than the current level of immigration would add.
  • The above projection follows exactly the Census Bureauís assumptions about future birth and death rates, including a decline in the birth rate for Hispanics, who comprise the largest share of immigrants.

I saw Camarota on C-SPAN with a discussion panel including Ben Wattenberg and Mark Krikorian. Camarota commented that the average age of immigrants is so high that immigrants do little to increase the ratio of workers to retirees. His study results bear this out:

  • At the current level of net immigration (1.25 million a year), 61 percent of the nationís population will be of working age (15-66) in 2060, compared to 60 percent if net immigration were reduced to 300,000 a year.
  • If net immigration was doubled to 2.5 million a year it would raise the working-age share of the population by one additional percentage point, to 62 percent, by 2060. But at that level of immigration, the U.S. population would reach 573 million, double its size in the 2000 Census.

We have too many people already. This is showing up in all sorts of ways. Population increases have caused high housing prices which, in turn, have caused a migration into the center of the country away from the expensive coasts. Not just California but also formerly cheap areas in the southeast have seen substantial increases in housing prices that look long lasting even after the adjustments for the recent housing bubble work their way through the market.

We do not need more people. They do not serve some useful purpose. Low transportation and communications costs combined with lower tariffs have enabled global manufacturing which brings a scale of production needed for maximal efficiency. The only people who make living standards rise are the smart fraction (especially the verbally smart). We could cut down immigration by an order of magnitude, let in only the smartest, and make immigration a big net benefit rather than a big net detriment as it is today.

In today's economy the most highly skilled workers produce a growing portion of new economic value. Masses of manual laborers face stagnating or declining wages - a clear sign that growing legions of manual workers are not essential for wealth creation.

Population expansion puts home ownership and use of wilderness lands out of the price range of working class people. For example, the expansion of urban areas has caused the number of hunters to dwindle even as the population has grown.

New figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the number of hunters 16 and older declined by 10% between 1996 and 2006 ó from 14 million to about 12.5 million. The drop was most acute in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific states, which lost 400,000 hunters in that span.

The primary reasons, experts say, are the loss of hunting land to urbanization plus a perception by many families that they can't afford the time or costs that hunting entails.

Some people who oppose hunting might find this news exciting. But those areas where hunters used to track down pheasant and other animals are now cities, highways, and suburban tracts. The animals in the developed lands had a better chance of survival when hunters had places to hunt than they do now.

I do not buy the libertarian Benthamite arguments for open borders. They ignore external costs and other problems associated with open borders. A more densely populated society will inevitably become a more regulated and restricted society. This is especially the case when immigrants bring higher crime rates and less belief in individual rights.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 September 02 05:27 PM  Immigration Demographics

John S Bolton said at September 3, 2007 12:26 AM:

Officials would want this in order to get more conflict between the populations, allowing for more power,
as in the Balkans, when the groups are hopelessly at odds, naked imperialism and dismissal of democracy
goes over so easily. While officials and their scholars cry racism and fascism over any objections to their enthusiasm for degradation of quality of population through mass immigration, it seems to have passed unnoticed that the left and moderate right have long been acting as if they believed that politics is close to 100% genetic.

Wolf-Dog said at September 3, 2007 1:00 AM:

There must be wrong with the study about Verbal IQ being the main component that causes income to go up. Maybe the "lawyer" and "media" types whose incomes are derived from taking money from others by manipulation, are making a difference in this calculation.

But in reality a very significant number of very profitable science and engineering companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the U.S. are being founded by engineer and scientist immigrants.

John S Bolton said at September 3, 2007 2:44 AM:

Mass Immigration and Diseconomies of Scale:
there should be articles and books on this topic,
but our craven or malicious scholars and journalists
don't seem likely to be about to write them.
As Sailer would say, why doesn't this market clear?
Because there is a minimum expected disloyalty
to the interests of the majority in the civilized countries,
which if mobilized, could block that which depends on
transmission to less heavily-parasitized environments?

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