Study Shows Asians Are On Pace to Overtake Hispanics as Largest Immigrant Group in U.S.


Asians are on pace to become the largest immigrant group in the the United States. Meanwhile, the share of new arrivals who are Hispanic is smaller than it was 50 years ago. And the percentage of the total U.S. population born outside this country was higher in 1890 than it is today.

Those are just some of the takeaways from an in-depth report released Monday by the Pew Research Center. At a time when U.S. politicians and wannabe presidents are batting around arguments and insults about immigration, the nearly 130-page document provides nonpartisan analysis that explores trends and projects the future.

The report, “Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065,” comes 50 years after the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. That act did away with a quota system that once favored European immigrants and replaced it with a policy that looked toward family reunification for immigrants and employment needs in the United States.

Since the act’s passage, 51% of immigrants have come from Latin America and a quarter of new immigrants have come from Asia.

What all this means — in terms of numbers and attitudes — is significant and worth exploring. Here are some highlights gleaned from the report:

Moving toward a new record
With one in five global immigrants living here, the United States holds the distinction of having the largest immigrant population in the world. It doesn’t look like that’s going to change.

In 1890, nearly 15% of the U.S. population was foreign-born. By 1965, that number fell to 5%. Today, about 14% of the country’s population was born elsewhere. Come 2065, however, Pew projects that figure will hit a new high of nearly 18%.

Over the past 50 years, the total U.S. population has grown from 193 million to 324 million. New immigrants and their descendants accounted for 55% — or 72 million — of this growth.

But get this: By 2065, Pew projects that there will be 441 million people living in the United States, and 88% of that growth will be attributed to future immigrants and their offspring.

A closer look at the numbers
Fifty years ago, 9.6 million of those living in the United States were born outside the country.

Since then, about 59 million immigrants have come to the United States. But the official current population figure for those who are foreign-born is 45 million — a number that factors in those who’ve since left the U.S. or died.

By 2065, Pew projects more than 78 million people living in America will have been born elsewhere.

The numbers referenced in this report include those who’ve arrived here legally and those who are unauthorized.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: CNN, Jessica Ravitz