Our Unprecedented Immigration Experiment

The United States is taking in more immigrants than at any time in our history, while at the same time making little or no effort to assimilate them. No one can know what the consequences of this experiment will be. This chart, created by the Center for Immigration Studies from Census Bureau data, plots the number of immigrants living in the U.S. and their share of the population, from 1900 to 2014 and projected through 2060. As of last year, the U.S. was home to a record 42.4 million immigrants, legal and illegal, representing 13.3% of the nation’s population. Click to enlarge:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 5.45.02 PM

You can easily see how immigration has exploded since 1980. CIS adds observations on the data, including these:

* The new data indicate that growth in the immigrant population is accelerating. Between 2010 and 2012, growth averaged 430,000 people a year, but between 2012 and 2013 the immigrant population grew by 520,000; it grew by 1.04 million from 2013 to 2014.

* In addition to immigrants, there were 16.2 million U.S.-born minor (<18) children with at least one immigrant parent in 2014, for a total of 58.6 million immigrants and their children. Immigrants and their minor children now account for more than one in six U.S. residents.

* The sending regions with the largest numerical increases in the number of immigrants living in the United States since 2010 were East Asia (up 642,000), South Asia (up 594,000), Sub-Saharan Africa (up 282,000), the Middle East (up 277,000), the Caribbean (up 269,000), and Central America (up 268,000).

* Mexico had by far the largest immigrant population in the country, with 11.7 million legal and illegal Mexican immigrants living in the United States in 2014.

One of my frequent email correspondents keeps asking: when did we vote for this? The United States is being rapidly transformed, in ways that appear negative to most Americans–environmental degradation; increased burdens on schools, hospitals, and social services; low wage competition; and cultural fragmentation. So to repeat: when did we vote for this? It is no wonder that immigration is the number one issue of 2015, or that a clear majority if Americans are disgusted with a political class that no longer even pretends to represent their interests.

Responses