Asians to be Largest Immigrant Population in the US Forty Years from Now

Asians to be Largest Immigrant Population in the US Forty Years from Now
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

Starting from 2011, another big transformation began in the structure of the immigrant population. Those coming from Asia, especially India and China, already exceeded those from Latin America.

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Epoch Times reports, this week marks the 50th anniversary since the US Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965. On September 27, the Pew Research Center issued a report that showed there will be major changes in the immigration pattern for the next 50 years. The amount of Asian immigrants will overtake Hispanics in forty years and become the largest immigrant community in the US. The study points out, the increase of Asian and Hispanic immigrants will lead to the continuous growth of the US population. It is predicted that in the 50 years to come, the share of the U.S. population that is foreign born will reach 18%, which is higher than the 14% of today. The foreign-born share was only 5% in 1965.

The report found that the Immigration Act passed in 1965 has been the main driver of the population growth in the US. There have been around 16 million Mexican immigrants in the past 50 years, accounting for 28% of the total new immigrant population; and the main source of immigrants in US history, European immigrants, now only take up 10% of the new immigrants. Starting from 2011, another big transformation began in the structure of the immigrant population. Those coming from Asia, especially India and China, already exceeded those from Latin America.

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Photo Credit: AP

CNA reported, according to statistics from Pew, it is predicted that the structure of the US population will see real change in 2055. By then, Asian immigrants will take up 36% of the total population, Latin Americans 34%, Caucasians 18% to 20% and African Americans 8% to 9%.

UDN reports, Hispanics now account for 47% of the total number of immigrants in the US, but will be reduced to 31% before 2065. Asians now account for 26%, but will increase to 38% within the next 50 years. Director at Pew, Mark Hugo Lopez, says, “There are relatively fewer people who would choose to migrate from Mexico, so demographic changes in Mexico have led to a somewhat smaller pool of potential migrants."

“At the same time we’ve seen a growing number of immigrants, particularly from China or India, who are coming for reasons such as pursuing a college degree or coming here to work temporarily in the high-tech sector.”

Photo Credit: Pew Research Center

Photo Credit: Pew Research Center

The reason the number of Asian immigrants are increasing while Hispanics are not

Though the amount of Asian immigrants has been increasing, the total number of Hispanics is still higher. The increase of Hispanics mainly come from those born in the US. This is a recent transformation and is different from the 1980s and 1990s. Researchers from Pew point out that the structure change in the US population is partially due to the changes in birth rate of Hispanic women, especially the decrease of birth rate for Mexican immigrants. Mexican women now give birth to an average of two children, but gave birth to an average of seven in the 1960s to 1970s.

Sing Tao Daily reports that the Asian immigrant culture emphasizes more on family and education. It is also more conservative regarding financial management and those who are able to stay in Taiwan all have better incomes. Indian and Chinese immigrants place first and second in average household income of immigrants in US. These people stay in contact with friends and family back home and attracts them to immigrate to the US as well.

In addition, most Asian immigrants hold H1 work visas and the US government has additional places for those who have received higher education. Engineers and technology professionals take up a majority of these people, which creates more opportunities for Asian immigrants that have advantages in the technology industry. Many Asian immigrants also choose to become immigrant investors, especially since US dollar devalues against Chinese Yuan. The Chinese stock market is relatively stable and many people invest in the US through cash from real estate and stocks.

Sina reports, in 2065, there will be no major ethnic community in the US. By then, Caucasians will take up 46% of the total population, Hispanics 24%, Asians 14% and Africans 13%. At the moment, Caucasians take up 62%, Hispanics 18%, Africans 12% and Asians 6%.

Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Photo Credit: Reuters

American impressions of immigrants

Pew also asked the people surveyed to use one word to describe immigrants in the US today. 12% said “illegal”; “overpopulation” was at 5%; “legality (other than illegal)” at 4%; and “jobs”, “deportation”, “Americans” and “work ethic” at 3% each. Forty-nine percent offered general descriptions, and of those 12% were positive, 11% negative and 26% neutral, according to the report.

Sina reports that between 2009 to 2014, the number of illegal entry from Mexico to the US has decreased significantly. The ones currently able to immigrate to the US are mostly skilled migrants and many have an university degree. But the American society holds very different views regarding the immigrant population. 55% percent of Democratic Party supporters believe immigrants provide the society with long-term benefits, but supporters of the Republic Party think otherwise with 53% believing the immigrants do the society more harm than good.

The number of immigrants may also play an important part in the upcoming presidential election. Presidential candidate of the Republic Party, Donald Trump, has repeatedly brought up the subject of immigrants and talks about constructing a wall on the southern border of the US to prevent Mexicans flowing in. This remark might trigger the Latinos to declare their position through votes and may threaten the Republic Party in the election.

Translated and compiled by Olivia Yang