The Changing Face of Immigrants in US

The Changing Face of Immigrants in USThe Changing Face of Immigrants in US

Asians are set to become the largest immigrant group in the United States. The share of new arrivals who are Hispanic is smaller than it was 50 years ago, says an in-depth report released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

At a time when US 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, CNN reports.

The report, “Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to US, 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 US.

Since then, 51% of immigrants have come from Latin America and a quarter of new immigrants from Asia.

 New Record

With one in five global immigrants living in the US, it holds the distinction of having the largest immigrant population in the world.

In 1890, nearly 15% of the US 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 US population grew from 193 million to 324 million. New immigrants and their descendants accounted for 55% or 72 million of this growth.

By 2065, Pew projects that there will be 441 million people in the US, and 88% of that growth will be attributed to future immigrants and their offspring.

Fifty years ago, 9.6 million of those living in the US were born outside the country. Since then, 59 million immigrants have come to the country.

Pew estimates that 11.3 million immigrants are unauthorized with illegal immigrants from Mexico peaking in 2007 at 6.9 million. It’s gone down since then and reached 5.9 million in 2012. But they still make up the majority of unauthorized immigrants.

 Shifting Tide

Though Hispanics make up 47% of immigrants, immigration from Latin America has slowed, especially from Mexico. Of immigrants who’ve been in the US for no more than five years, more have come from Asia (2.5 million) than from Central and South America (1.7 million).

Immigrants from Asia and Europe fare best when it comes to how Americans view them, with 47% and 44%, respectively, seeing them in a positive light. Only 11% see Asians negatively, and 9% see Europeans that way.

Immigrants from Africa and Latin America are viewed positively by 26% of those surveyed and are seen negatively by 22% and 37% respectively.

Those who arrive from the Middle East have it the worst. They are seen positively by just 20% and negatively by about twice as much.

According to Pew, within four decades the US will no longer have a majority group.

Fifty years ago, non-Hispanic whites made up 84% of the U.S. population. Today, that number is 62%.  In 2065, the figure is anticipated to fall to 46%. The black population has grown from 11% to 12% over the past 50 years and is expected to go up one more percentage point by 2065.

If there’d been no immigration since 1965, Pew researchers suggest that the face of America would look like this today: 75% white, 14% black, 8% Hispanic and less than 1% Asian.