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August 21, 2006

The Growth and Reach of Immigration: New Census Bureau Data Underscore Importance of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Force

NEW RELEASE August 16, 2006

by Rob Paral

New data released by the Census Bureau on August 15 underscore the extent to which immigration continues to fuel the expansion of the U.S. labor force. The foreign-born population of the United States increased by 4.9 million between 2000 and 2005; raising the total foreign-born population to 35.7 million, or 12.4 percent of the 288.4 million people in the country. While the majority of immigrants still settle in traditional gateway states such as California, Florida, New York, and Texas, growing numbers also are settling in non-traditional destinations like South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Moreover, immigration is stabilizing the populations of states such as Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Yet the continued growth of the immigrant population and its dispersion to new locales is not displacing or otherwise disadvantaging most native-born workers. Immigrants are going where there are job openings and economic opportunities. As Congress debates competing proposals for comprehensive immigration reform, it would do well to pay close attention to these trends. Immigrants already have become an indispensable part of the U.S. labor force.

Among the findings of this report:
Immigrants account for more than one in six persons (15 percent or more) in seven states: California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Immigrants from Latin America constitute a majority (57.3 percent) of the immigrants who arrived in the United States between 2000 and 2005. One quarter of recent arrivals came from Asia and about 9.6 percent from Europe.

Naturalized immigrants comprise one in five voting-age adults in California and more than 10 percent in New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Florida.

The primary reason that immigrants dont have a negative impact on the majority of native-born workers is that they arent competing for the same jobs. The U.S. population is growing older and better educated, while the U.S. economy continues to create a large number of jobs that favor younger workers with little formal education.

Between 2000 and 2005, the median age of the U.S. population increased from 35.3 to 36.4 years old and the share of adults with at least a high-school diploma increased from 80 to 84 percent, while the share with at least a bachelors degree rose from 24 to 27 percent.

For more information contact Tim Vettel at (202) 742-5608.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is dedicated exclusively to the analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States. The IPC is a division of the American Immigration Law Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational foundation under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

American Immigration Law Foundation
918 F Street, NW - Washington, DC 20004
202-742-5600

Posted by VisaLawyer at August 21, 2006 06:59 AM

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