FAQs about Immigration and US Population Growth

Growth advocates say that people are needed to keep the economy moving, but what is an important and common contributing factor to the following problems?


What are the components of U.S. population growth?

Natural increases (birth minus deaths) and immigration are the two contributing factors to U.S. population growth.

How do teenaged births contribute to population growth?

On 4/10/2012, Reuters quoted the Center for Disease Control & Prevention as saying that "the U.S. teen birth rate remains one of the highest among other industrialized countries" despite recent declines.

An article of 5/19/09 titled "Survey delves into high birth rate for young Latinas" posted on CNNhealth.com reported that:

In 2007, the birth rate among non-Hispanic whites ages 15 to 19 was 27.2 per 1,000, and 64.3 per 1,000 for non-Hispanic black teens in the same age range. The teen birth rate among Hispanic teens ages 15 to 19 was 81.7 per 1,000..."

An article by the Associated Press tilted "Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says," posted on Yahoo.com on January 7, 2009, reported that:

"About 435,000 of the nation's 4.3 million births in 2006 were to mothers ages 15 through 19. That was about 21,000 more teen births than in 2005.

Numerically, the largest increases were in the states with the largest populations. California, Texas and Florida together generated almost 30 percent of the nation's extra teen births in 2006.

Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title, according to a new federal report released Wednesday.

Mississippi's rate was more than 60 percent higher than the national average in 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The teen pregnancy rate in Texas and New Mexico was more than 50 percent higher.

The three states have large proportions of black and Hispanic teenagers - groups that traditionally have higher birth rates, experts noted."

SFGate.com reported in "State sees costly increase in teen birthrate" posted on 5/21/08 that "The teenage birthrate in California increased in 2006 for the first time in 15 years and costs taxpayers $1.7 billion a year - or $2,493 per baby, according to a reported released Wednesday by the Oakland-based Public Health Institute... There were 52,770 babies born to teen moms in California in 2006..., for a rate of 37.8 births per 1,000 teens..."

How fast has the U.S. population grown?

The U.S. population has more than quadrupled since 1900, from 76 million to 313 million in early 2013. Since 1970 alone, 110 million people have added to the U.S. population - a more than 50% increase. Another quadrupling of 313 million will make the United States as crowded as today's India!

In an article of April 6, 2011 entitled "Nonwhite youth population growing in California and nation, report finds", the Los Angeles Times reported that "nonwhites accounted for all the growth in the youth population from 2000 to 2010", based on a study authored by William Frey of the Brookings Institution. The same Los Angeles Times article also wrote: "Another finding from the study was that 10 states and 35 metropolitan areas, including California and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area, have minority white children populations."

MSNBC.com reported in its news article of March 24, 2011 titled "New milestone: 1 in 6 in US is Hispanic":

"Racial and ethnic minorities are expected to make up an unprecedented 90 percent of the total U.S. growth since 2000, due to immigration and higher birth rates for Latinos". This information was the Census Bureau's "first set of national-level findings from the 2010 count on race and migration, detailing a decade in which rapid minority growth, aging whites and increased suburbanization were the predominant story lines."

Why should we reduce immigration?

The United States no longer has 76 million like in 1990 or the most prosperous nation like it was in the 1960's. It is the greatest debtor nation in the world with tens of millions of native-born citizens and legal immigrants of diverse backgrounds who live in poverty. Rapid population in the U.S. makes it nearly impossible to address many concerns of our multiracial community. Since immigration is the main driving force behind the U.S. population growth based on Census data which also negatively impacts existing legal immigrants, we must take serious measures to stabilize our population including immigration reduction. Furthermore, Mexico, China and other countries have seriously worked on curbing legal and illegal immigration, why shouldn't the United States?

The sensible way to improve life for impoverished citizens in developing nations is to urge hundreds of billionaires here to help curb their population growth and improve life for their own citizens.

What is the impact of population growth on our environment?

The California Department of Water Resources has forecast serious water shortages 10 years from now, due to population growth, most of which comes from immigration. Although consumption must be reduced at all levels, continued population growth directly threatens biodiversity and causes species extinction, loss of farmland and open space, and general degradation of environmental quality, including global warming.

Will building more roads or schools, or improved mass transportation solve many of our problems?

Public transportation should be improved. However, there are no long-term growth management plans that can cope with unlimited population growth.

What is the impact of rapid population growth on our public schools?

According to the data collected by the Census Bureau and Center For immigration Studies, in 2007, there were 10.8 million school-age children from legal and illegal immigrant families in the United States, representing about 1/5 of the student population from K to 12 grades.

Per the English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA) and California state data for 2005-06, California's school enrolled about 1.5 million English Language Learner (ELL) students, representing one-third of the nation's ELL. The cost of educating a child a year in the U.S. averages over $8000. In California total K-12 per-pupil funding (PPF) is approximately $11,000 for 2007-08 according to the Legislative Analyst's Office, (LAO) California's non-partisan fiscal and policy advisor.

Does immigration only affect the border states?

Large numbers of immigrants from many countries have settled in many Midwestern states. The Detroit Metropolitan area has one of the largest concentrations of Arabs outside the Middle East.

Why is it necessary to reduce immigration in order to achieve welfare and health care reform?

According to the March 2007 Current Population Survey (CPS) by the U.S. Census Bureau, 33.80% of all foreign-born lack health insurance. Immigrants and their young U.S.-born children under 18 account for nearly 1/3 of all persons in the country without health insurance nationwide and more than 70% of the growth of the uninsured population in the U.S. (47.4 percent of immigrants and their children under 18 are either uninsured or on Medicaid. In comparison, 25 percent of natives and their young children are uninsured or on Medicaid.) A study released by Rand Corp. in November, 2006, estimates that health care provided to illegal adult immigrants alone costs about $6.4 billion a year nationally. This does not include health care for illegal immigrant children, or children born in the U.S. of illegal immigrants, or legal immigrants, or children born in the U.S. of legal immigrants.

How does high immigration contribute to our Social Security problems?

Because of the poverty rate and the large numbers of unskilled and semi-skilled immigrants entering the U.S. every year, a tremendous burden is placed on government budgets, greatly depleting the Social Security Trust Fund in the long run.

What is immigration's impact on American workers?

The National Academy of Science reported in 1997 that from 1980 to 1995, 44 percent of the decline in the real wages of high school dropouts resulted from immigration. The study conducted by UC Davis Professor Norman Matloff also concludes that large numbers of older immigrant and U.S.-born computer scientists are displaced by newly arrived foreign-born computer programmers.

What groups are most hurt economically by high levels of immigration?

Pro-immigrant Professor Paul Ong of UCLA has said, "In terms of the adverse impact on wage and employment, the adverse impact will be most pronounced on minorities and established immigrants..."

Rapid population growth and our environment

Isn't excessive consumption what causes environmental degradation?

Cutting consumption alone will not stop environmental degradation. Even if we can reduce consumption by half, no progress can be achieved if we allow the population to double. Although population stabilization alone will not save the environment, if we work on growth management without stopping population growth, we can only win temporary battles. Eventually, we will lose the war.

Can we substantially reduce energy costs and effectively protecting the environment without stabilizing the U.S. population?

In addition to curbing consumption, we must develop alternative green energy sources. However, continued population growth will increase demands. Furthermore, even "green" energy is costly and polluting, and cannot cope with unlimited population growth.

Shouldn't we work on stopping worldwide population growth before we address immigration?

At the turn of 20th century, immigration to the U.S. approached one million per year. Around 1924, Congress passed legislation to reduce immigration. Subsequently, from 1925 to 1965, the annual rate of immigration was less than 200,000 a year, on the average. No walls were built around the United States. We now have record levels of immigration because of a series of laws passed since 1965 to increase immigration. This is simply to show that the federal government can reduce immigration by enforcing existing laws to curb illegal immigration and by passing legislation to reduce legal immigration.

It is also unrealistic to wait for worldwide population stabilization to reduce immigration: There are over six billion people on Earth. Among them, there are at least one billion women of child-bearing age who need to be empowered. In addition, every year, we add nearly 80 million people - mostly to poor nations who also need jobs and other services! How many years will it require for those one billion-plus women to be empowered? One hundred years? Five thousand? Without addressing immigration to the U.S., in 100 years or so, we could have close to China's current population! Would that kind of America help solve global poverty? Is this the kind of America we wants to leave for today's children.

Isn't overpopulation a worldwide issue and doesn't it require a global solution?

Overpopulation, like pollution, is both a worldwide and U.S. problem. If we address pollution nationally and locally, why don't we also address U.S. population growth?

Isn't limiting immigration just a way to protect the quality of life of wealthy Americans?

Immigration, the driving force behind the U.S. population growth, affects minorities and earlier immigrants the most. A study conducted by the National Academy of Science concluded that immigration results in a transfer of wealth from American workers to employers who hire immigrants.

Po Wong, when serving as the Executive Director of the Chinese Newcomers' Service, said, "I don't think our community is equipped to welcome such a large number... It's very depressing to see so many people come here looking for work." He has also said, "The community is not ready even for the influx of legal immigrants looking for housing, looking for work, looking for other social services, health services..."

Will preventing unwanted pregnancies alone enough to stabilize U.S. population?

The U.S. fertility rate was almost the replacement level of 2.1 in 2009.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2/3 of future population growth will result from immigrants arriving since 1994 and their U.S.-born descendants. On October 5, 2001, the Charlotte Observer (NC) reported: "A recent study from the Pew Hispanic Center found the number of U.S. children with at least one undocumented parent went from 2.7 million in 2003 to 4 million in 2008. More than 70 percent of all children of illegal immigrants are U.S. citizens."

Therefore, in addition to working on preventing unwanted pregnancies, the United States should use China's and Mexico's policies on legal and illegal immigration when Congress reforms immigration.

Is immigration a cost-effective way to help foreign nationals?

The cost of rendering similar services abroad, such as education and health care, will only be a small fraction of what they cost in the U.S. Roger Winters, Director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees, has said that the cost of settling one refugee in the U.S. could cover the expenses of 500 refugees abroad! Also, many foreign nationals, like Nelson Mandela, can do more for their countrymen by staying home and working for change. (By using international pressure, the U.S. helped bring down the racist South-African government, thus helping Mandela become that nation's leader. Of course, it is no paradise yet in South Africa, but Rome was not built in a day either.) Absorbing billions of people abroad who live in poverty is not a viable solution especially when the U.S. is the greatest debtor nation in the world.

Furthermore, according to Forbes Magazine' report released on March 10, 2010, the world's wealthiest person is Mexican citizen Carlos Slim, and the fourth and fifth richest individuals are Mukesh Ambani and Lakshmi Mittal, both residents of India. China, which now holds the world's largest foreign currency reserves in the world, has 27 billionaires! Many developing countries do have many resources and should work on improving life for their own citizens.

American corporations have destroyed poor countries' environments and exploited their workers. Shouldn't we therefore allow people immigrate to the U.S. to enjoy the benefits of the U.S. economic policy?

Injustices have been done in the U.S. and abroad, but turning America into another China or India is not the solution to right past wrongs! The cheap labor lobby is the main beneficiary of mass immigration and it promotes immigration to depress American wages.