While they did not receive much attention when they were released last month, new projections from the Census Bureau show the enormous impact of immigration on the U.S. population. For the first time, the Bureau projected the future size of the immigrant (foreign-born) population and found that by 2023 immigrants will account for more than one in seven U.S. residents (51 million) — the largest share ever recorded in American history. Driven largely by legal immigration, not illegal immigration, the immigrant population will grow to nearly one in five U.S. residents (78 million) by 2060, the Bureau projects.1 The total U.S. population will grow to almost 417 million — 108 million more than in 2010.
Among the Census Bureau findings:
- Total net immigration (the difference between the number coming and going) will increase steadily over the next 45 years, totaling 64 million.2
- Absent a change in current policy, the Census Bureau projects that in 2023 the nation's immigrant population (legal and illegal) will reach 14.8 percent (51 million) of the total U.S. population — the highest share ever recorded in American history.3
- The bureau also projects that the immigrant population will grow nearly four times faster than the native-born population, reaching 15.8 percent (57 million) of the nation's population in 2030, 17.1 percent (65 million) in 2040, and 18.8 percent (78 million) in 2060.4
- To place these numbers into historical context, as recently as 1990, immigrants were 7.9 percent (20 million) of the total U.S. population.5
- The nation's total population will grow to 417 million by 2060 — 108 million more than in 2010.6 This increase is roughly equivalent to adding the combined populations of California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Massachusetts to the country.7
- The new projections indicate that, absent a change in immigration policy, immigrants who will arrive in the future plus their descendants will account for roughly three-fourths of future U.S. population increase.8
Other interesting findings in the projections show the rapid aging of the immigrant population. In 2015, immigrants accounted for 13 percent of the population 65 and older, roughly equal to their share of the overall population. But by 2060 there will be 25.3 million immigrants in this age group, accounting for 26 percent of all persons over 65.9
Read more at Center for Immigration Studies.