Lecture 9 2/19/2013
1 : born abroad
2 : children of immigrants
3 : children of children of immigrants
Demography of immigration
Number of legal immigrants to the US has spiked a lot, but is fairly low per 1000 residents. But number
of illegal has increased greatly.
Net migration for undocumented and gross migration for legal immigrants.
In 1990s, illegal was about equal to legal immigration.
During recession, undocumented immigration flattened out and maybe even fell a little.
Net legal immigration as share of population growth has been rising steadily since the 1930s. 2010 share
is 35%. But we’re not taking into account that some population growth is from birth’s of earlier
immigrants. If you set immigration to zero, you’re losing the immigrants as well as their future children
(losing a LOT of population growth).
Sex ratio of immigrants
Before 1930 or so, most immigrants were male. Since then, females outnumber males (male-to-female
ratio below 1).
1940: war brides (GIs returning with brides from abroad)
Percent working age immigrants
Stocks of immigrants
= foreign born, living in US now
We can assume that a reasonably high proportion of illegal immigrants respond to the survey.
Number of foreign-born was about 10-14 million from 1900 to 1970, but rising steadily since then. In
2010 there were 40 million immigrants (=foreign-born).
Gross inflow is about 1.5 million immigrants per year.
US has a large proportion (~ 1/5) of the world’s immigrants because it is a large country. Its immigration
rate is not spectacularly high.
Region of origin for foreign-born
In 1900 and before, 97% of immigrants came from Canada and Europe. In 1950, 89%. 1990, 26%. 12% in
2010. While that was declining, there was a rapid increase in the proportion of immigrants from the
Caribbean and Latin America (53% in 2010). Asia is now up to 25%. Immigrants have high fertility once in the US.
Mexico (12 million), China (doubled), India (tripled)