Immigration to the United States Is Back Up

As previously reported on our blog, the number of deportations of illegal immigrants from the U.S. rose from around 390.000 in 2009 to more than 392.000 in 2010. According to today’s NY Times, a new study now found that the flow of immigrants to the United States has resumed, after falling to the lowest level in decades during the recession.

The number of immigrants in the United States was estimated to have risen by about half a million in the year that ended in 2009, a jump from the previous year, when immigration stopped almost completely during the recession.

The rise pointed to an increase in demand for immigrant labor in the economy, said Audrey Singer, a demographer and co-author of the study. However, the number is still far below the increases of more than a million a year that took place earlier in the decade. The flow reached a peak in 2006, with a 1.8 million increase in the foreign-born population.

The foreign-born population in the United States increased by 4.4 million in the decade ending in 1980. In the decade ending in 2000, it increased by 11.3 million, bringing the foreign-born population to about 13 percent of the total. In the early 20th century, after the last big wave of immigration to the United States, immigrants had reached 15 percent of the population.

In 2008, immigration came to a standstill, the first big slowdown in decades of surging numbers, according to the report, which was based on estimates by the Census Bureau. The foreign-born population increased by 7.4 million between 2000 and 2009.

“After three decades of nonstop growth, immigration seems to have paused,” the report says.

The biggest losses were in cities that had boomed in recent years, particularly in the housing industry, including Phoenix, Riverside and San Bernardino in California and Tampa, Fla. Cities where the recession had less of an effect, including Austin, Tex., Houston, Raleigh, N.C., and Seattle, continued to gain immigrants.

The biggest increases came in smaller metropolitan areas that had little or no immigrant populations before. Among them were Jackson, Miss., whose foreign-born population grew by half in the two years ending in 2009, Birmingham, Ala., where immigrants increased by a quarter, and Worcester, Mass., and Omaha, which both experienced growth of about 20 percent, according to the report.

There was a slight rise in the portion of immigrants without a high school education, though the report noted that it was unclear whether this was because of low-skilled immigrants already in the United States, or because of less educated ones arriving. Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree did not change, the report said.

Best regards
und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs