March 9, 2015

U.S. immigrant population projected to rise, even as share falls among Hispanics, Asians

Foreign-Born Share of Population to Reach Historic High by 2060The nation’s foreign-born population is projected to reach 78 million by 2060, making up 18.8% of the total U.S. population, according to new Census Bureau population projections. That would be a new record for the foreign-born share, with the bureau projecting that the previous record high of 14.8% in 1890 will be passed as soon as 2025.

Yet while Asian and Hispanic immigrants are projected to continue to be the main sources of U.S. immigrant population growth, the new projections show that the share of the foreign born is expected to fall among these two groups. Today, 66.0% of U.S. Asians are immigrants, but that share is predicted to fall to 55.4% by 2060. And while about a third of U.S. Hispanics (34.9%) are now foreign-born, the Census Bureau projects that this share too will fall, to 27.4% in 2060. These declines are due to the growing importance of births as drivers of each group’s population growth. Already, for Hispanics, U.S. births drive 78% of population growth.

Census Projects Share of Asian, Hispanic Population Born Abroad to Fall by 2060

Meanwhile, foreign-born shares among whites and blacks are expected to rise. Today, 8.9% of those who identify as black were born in another country, but that number is projected to almost double – to 16.5% – by 2060. Among whites, 4.1% are foreign-born today, but that share is projected to double to 8.1% in 2060.

The U.S. today has more immigrants than any other nation. As the nation’s immigrant population grows, so too will the number of children who have at least one immigrant parent. As of 2012, these second generation Americans made up 11.5% of the population, and that share is expected to rise to 18.4% by 2050, according to Pew Research Center projections.

This is the first time in 14 years the Census Bureau has made projections of the foreign-born population. Predicting future immigration and birth trends is a tricky process, and the bureau has substantially changed its projections from year to year in light of reduced immigration and birth rates.

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Population Projections

  1. Photo of Anna Brown

    is a research analyst focusing on social and demographic trends at Pew Research Center.


  1. Kevin2 years ago

    Unless there is a change in government we seem to be on down slide of socialist anarchy

  2. Mia2 years ago

    I’m most concerned about the environmental impact of mass immigration. Living in SoCal, I have watched the hillsides of Orange County fill with housing over the last few years. The only wilderness we have left are nature preserves and national/state parks. It’s heart-breaking. I hate living here.

    1. DMR2 years ago

      Have you considered the possibility that the hills of SoCal are getting filled with housing because of SoCal’s poor urban planning? There are plenty of dense cities with a high immigrant population where the size of the city does not grow, the density does.

      1. Ru Peter2 years ago

        “PLANNING” and bureaucrats exercising artificial controls on the free private property rights system INCREASES COSTS of that property.

        EVERY state and city with big government control is the most expensive with the least housing value and primarily generates RENTERS, not home owner. And THAT creates unstable societies.

  3. Felix galaviz2 years ago

    Some research articles I read last year, commented that the Mexican immigration population would begin to slow due to the smaller family size and greater opportunities emerging in Mexico. And ,since its economy is projected to exceed Japan’s in circa 2025,Mexico’s strengthening economy will begin to change migration patterns to a much smaller number. Good for Mexico, and the United States prosperity.

  4. cyberman2 years ago

    Would also be interested in how foreign born population projections translates into religions. Both initially upon immigration and after a generation or two.

  5. Tilghman Scott2 years ago

    Shut the door ! We need to up our educational methods in a way that will
    Increase the number of real Americans working, not on any of the government hand-outs. When more full employment is reached, those now idle will be able to regain a modicum of the pride in self the government has stripped from them. Keep the doors…all of them…closed with the only exception coming from trades people truly needed. Schools need to teach job skills . Let Americans again become the can-do nation it once was…a nation proud of its world leading accomplishments and, remove all here who did not legally qualify.