What if the U.S. Population Wanes?

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The Pew Hispanic Center has just released a new report that indicates that the U.S. population would fall in the future if current levels of legal and illegal immigration were not continued.

The projection is that between now and 2065 immigration will account for 88 percent of the country’s population growth. But the study is not focused on the total population, but rather the working-age population. It depicts a drop from 173 million persons aged 25-64 to 166 million if there were no further immigration. Of course, no one is advocating zero immigration. With the continued present level of immigration, the working-age population would increase to 183 million.

The reason for the drop in the working age population without immigration is that the spike in population growth of the postwar ‘baby boom’ increase is passing as that generation ages and dies. This, of course, is a natural phenomenon that has been long anticipated. The passing of the ‘baby boom’ is destined to restore population dynamics to a more stable long-term balance.

So, what is the purpose of this report? Pew supports liberal immigration. The report is ammunition for the business interests that oppose the agenda of the Trump administration to tighten enforcement against illegal immigration and to reduce legal immigration and refugee flows. Economists and business interests generally support population growth fueled by immigration because of the view that the availability of more workers holds down wages and the availability of more consumers props up consumption of manufactured products.

That is a ‘glass half full’ perspective. The contrary perspective is a nation with decreased crowding, less demand for new infrastructure, less intrusion on the nation’s environment and non-renewable resources. Currently efforts to make the country more energy independent and less reliant on fossil fuels are eroded by the growing population of energy consumers. That Sisyphean challenge will be much more realistic when the population tends to stabilize with a lower level of immigration.

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About Author

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Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).

11 Comments

  1. avatar

    We need tax revenue to support the baby boomer retirees. Our cost for retirees could go down with less immigration. We would have lower housing costs. Taxpaying US citizens may earn more with less competition which would help increase tax revenue too. The cost of educating, healthcare, feeding, and housing immigrants would go down with less immigration and enforcement of immigration law. So that would free up dollars to help with our baby boomers retiring. We don’t need more people we need more money. More people does not equal more money.

    • avatar

      Low Incomes Pay Hardly No Federal Taxes

      Social Security needs $20-$30/hr type pay again with health benefits too and full 40 weeks too….

      Social Security thrives on FULL TAXES [especially when the SS locked box was raided by the feds] now, not migrants overpopulation food stamps/welfares…also, theoretically we paid more into Social Security than we’ll pull out during retirement, your fear is a COMPLETE moot point on a pure fiscal basis.

      You’ve been brainwashed by Obama and Bush

      • avatar

        In her defense I think she’s saying more or less that same thing. Another thing too is the fact that if we make citizens of illegals that are as you say mostly low income, then they will become eligible for the earned income tax credit, which is a direct check of up to 6 thousand dollars a year even if you pay zero taxes. Just what we do not need.

  2. avatar

    So, let the population fall. What’s the problem? Aren’t the people that are trying to flood us with illegals the same ones that have been telling us that there are too many people in the world to sustain it. You would think that lower populations in countries would be a good thing from their perspective. If population was the real goal, that is. However, the real goal seems to be overrunning every white nation on the planet. Why? I’ll tell you why. Because white men make lousy slaves, that’s why!

  3. avatar

    If the average family of all the diverse ethnicities of each race now present in this country, the USA, were to have TWO children per household, we will sustain our future job markets . I FIRMLY believe that we should drastically LOWER OUR LEGAL IMMIGRATION LEVELS. We must also strongly prevent ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION in all its avenues. Legal immigrants MUST ONLY be allowed into our country out of willingness to become PRODUCTIVE AMERICANS WITH A FULL PAYING JOB, become NATURALIZED CITIZENS, LEARN ENGLISH and honor OUR CONSTITUTION, obey our laws, and GRADUALLY INTERMINGLE AND ASSIMILATE into society as a whole. We The People.

  4. avatar

    Every study available, every one, says that we are going to have LESS jobs available because of technology and automation. When I have a doctor’s appointment the call to remind me no longer comes from a live person in the office. It’s automated. When you go to Home Depot there are 4 self checkout registers staffed by one person. The list is endless, whether it’s manufacturing or personal services.

    It’s also a little dishonest to portray the working age population as 25 to 64 because the age for full Social Security will be at least 67 and quite likely higher. Most people now have little savings and are not going to have the guaranteed pensions that a lot of boomers have and are therefore expecting that they will have to work beyond retirement age, at least some of them full time. Nor are a lot of baby boomers at retirement age, since the last were born in 1964 and are only 53.

    A lower population will also take pressure off housing and rental prices. Many urban centers across this country have people paying more than 50% of their income for housing. The standard used to be no more than 25% of your income but when an apartment the size of a broom closet is three thousand a month, you pay it or go homeless. Or you drive three hours a day in gridlock traffic like Los Angeles.

    The biggest point here is that trying to say we better stock up now on population because of what might happen in 2065 is ridiculous. It’s like saying you will probably need a new car in 8 years so better buy it now. There is not going to be any shortage of people willing to come here if we have the need. As of now there is no need. This whole thing is bogus.