How Does Immigration Impact Population Growth?
The nation’s ongoing debate over the number of legal and illegal immigrants entering the country each year has raised legitimate questions about the sustainability of current U.S. immigration policies and the size of nation we wish to become.
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Dr. Albert Bartlett (1923 – 2013), Professor Emeritus of Physics
University of Colorado, Boulder
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|Although political sensitivity has often curtailed the discussion of the impact that immigration has on U.S. population size, the fact is that immigration accounts for the majority of our nation’s population growth and is expected to continue to do so for many years to come.
For more than 30 years, immigration has served as the largest contributor to the increase in U.S. population. As a direct result of immigration policies, the United States is now the third most populous nation in the world and has a higher growth rate than China. In fact, the U.S. has a population growth rate greater than all other developed nations combined.
In 2017, the U.S. foreign-born population reached a record 44.4 million. The U.S. currently adds about 1.50 to 1.75 million legal and illegal immigrants to its population every year. Without a return to more traditional levels of immigration, somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 per year, U.S. population is slated to increase from 329 million today to 416 million by the year 2060.
In other words, we’re closing in on a country with half a billion people.
Public opinion polls demonstrate that stabilizing the size of U.S. population is a concept that most Americans are willing to embrace. Achieving a sustainable population will be determined by whether we choose to make responsible actions as a nation.
In order to attain the goal of population stability, the U.S. must take control of its immigration system by implementing policies that have a positive impact on U.S. population growth. This goal can be reached only by curtailing large-scale immigration and ending the policies of chain migration, which serve as the source of our rampant growth.
America is not exceptional. There are a number of countries whose large populations have negatively impacted the quality of life for each individual. If we do not address America’s exponential population growth, we will find ourselves left with only the consequences of our inaction.
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