July 5, 2006, - 1:08 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Today’s USA Today cover story, “A Nation of 300 Million,” presents some interesting and very important information.
As the US nears the 300 million population mark (expected in mid-October), the paper says that immigration–legal AND ILLEGAL–is the single biggest driver of population growth in America. No surprise to those in the know, but according to the article, a big surprise to most Americans who are not aware of the population figure (they think it’s much smaller), but are waking up to the immigration factor.
And by the way, the U.S. has added 100 million people since 1967, mostly from immigration. More:
About 53% of the 100 million extra Americans are recent immigrants or their descendants, according to Jeffrey Passel, demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center. Without them, the USA would have about 250 million people today. . . .
Once here, they had babies, which helped the nation maintain a birthrate that is higher than that of Europe and Japan.
A demographic graph in the print edition of the article (pictured above) shows that, every single day, America gains 8,500 new Americans–2,800 of them (1/3) are immigrants (5,700 through births minus deaths, which also includes many illegal aliens’ anchor babies). Are all of these 2,800 per day here legally and/or with the best of intentions? NO, to both. Even if only a small percentage of this daily figure comes to America with bad intentions, that is a huge number and more than our law enforcement authorities can handle.
As for the birthrate, it is highest among immigrants–again BOTH legal AND illegal:
Women have to give birth to an average 2.1 babies to offset deaths and keep the population even. . . . The overall birthrate is slightly above two – just below replacement levels.
When the U.S. population was at 200 million in 1967, women had an average of three children and the government expected the population to hit 300 million as early as 1990. By the 1980s, the birthrate had tumbled and government estimates projected that the country wouldn’t get there until the 2020s. The flow of immigrants turned those projections on their heads.
And a strange dichotomy for America: It’s finally waking up to immigration problems, yet still remains somewhat clueless:
Half of Americans say their communities have grown a lot in the past five years, but more than three-fourths say growth is a minor problem or no problem where they live, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken in early June. Though about a third say growth will become a major issue in their communities, more than half say it will be a major problem for the country as a whole. Almost half attribute population growth to immigrants. . . .
Oddly, most Americans don’t have a clue how many people actually live in the USA or how many are expected to. Twenty-nine percent guessed the population at 200 million or less, and 19% put it at 1 billion or more. Twelve percent came within 50 million of guessing correctly.
Important stuff, lest we be invaded and birthrated out of existence in America as we know it.
Tags: America, Debbie Schlussel, Europe, Japan, Jeffrey Passel, law enforcement authorities, Pew Hispanic Center, United States, USA Today