Sunday, January 29, 2006

Immigration Not Altering Older Worker Demographics in U.S.

In providing a detailed picture of both the numbers and the socio-economic status of immigrants from U.S. Census Bureau data that shows that the nation's foreign-born or immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached a new record of more than 35 million in March of 2005, Steven A. Camarota, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies, reports that recent immigration has had no significant impact on the nation's age structure--"[w]ithout the 7.9 million post-2000 immigrants, the average age in America would be virtually unchanged at 36 years."
It could be argued that the benefit to the age structure might take more than just five years of high immigration. In a recent reported we examined the impact of immigration on the aging of American society as well as on the Social Security system. Consistent with other research, we found that immigration has only a very small impact on the problem of an aging society now and in the future. While immigrants do tend to arrive relatively young, and have more children than natives, immigrants age just like everyone else, and the differences with natives are not large enough to fundamentally alter the nation's age structure. After looking at the impact of different levels of immigration over the next century, a Census Bureau report stated in 2000 that immigration is a "highly inefficient" means for increasing the percentage of the population that is of working age in the long-run.
Source: "Immigrants At Mid-Decade: A Snapshot Of America's Foreign-Born Population In 2005" Center for Immigration Studies (December 2005)

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