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100 Year Immigrant Record Falls

By Sam Roberts

If present trends continue, within two decades the nation’s foreign-born population will surpass the historic 19th-century peak of nearly 15 percent of all residents, according to new projections.

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Because a vast wave of baby boomers will be swelling the ranks of the elderly, the so-called dependency ratio — the number of people below 18 and above 64 compared with the number of those in the prime working years —will rise to 72 per 100 by 2050 from about 59 per 100 in 2005, according to the projections, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. The ratio will be even higher if immigration subsides, the report found.

What such an outcome could portend, other analysts have said, is a nation riven politically between older, whiter, voting retirees who are increasingly supported by a younger, darker, working population that, as immigrants, may be disproportionately ineligible to vote.

“A higher number of elderly or children relative to the number of workers translates into higher costs per worker to pay for all government programs, including those targeted at the young and old such as schools and Social Security,” said the new analysis, based on fertility and death rates and immigration trends.

The center projects that the foreign-born share of the work force will increase to 23 percent by 2050 from 15 percent in 2005; the Hispanic share will more than double, to 31 percent.

Source: The New York Times

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June 27, 2019, 1:53 am PDT

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