Open-borders advocates have insisted for years that immigration populations have more children than U.S. natives and, therefore, are needed to balance the “demographic pyramid,” the ratio of young workers to retired seniors.
Don’t count on it, contends an immigration watchdog in a new report.
“The birth rate for woman in their reproductive years (ages 15-50) declined more than twice as much for immigrants as for natives between 2008 and 2017,” notes the report by the Center for Immigration Studies.
The immigrant birth rate still a little is higher than that of natives, but is lowering much more quickly, the report found.
“The birth rate for immigrant women of reproductive age declined from 76 to 62 births per thousand from 2008 to 2017 – a decline of 14 births per thousand. In contrast, native fertility declined from 55 to 50 births per thousand – a decline of five births per thousand.”
Immigration, the report said, “has a minor impact because the difference between immigrant and native fertility is too small to significantly change the nation’s overall birth rate.”
The report said there is no question that America is aging.
“Many advocates of immigration, like Jeb Bush, argue that immigrants can fundamentally change this fact, partly because of their higher fertility. It is true that immigrants have more children on average than natives. But the impact on the nation’s overall fertility rate is quite modest no matter how fertility is measured. Therefore it would be incorrect to argue that the fertility of immigrants ‘rebuilds the demographic pyramid.’ Further, immigrant fertility is falling, so the impact of immigration on aging is falling as well.
“Demographers, the people who study human populations, have long known that immigration has only a small impact on the aging of low-fertility countries like the United States. In an important 1992 article in Demography, the leading academic journal in the field, economist Carl Schmertmann explained that, mathematically, ‘constant inflows of immigrants, even at relatively young ages, do not necessarily rejuvenate low-fertility populations. In fact, immigration may even contribute to population aging.’ The Census Bureau also concluded in projections done in 2000 that immigration is a ‘highly inefficient’ means for increasing the percentage of the population that is of working-age in the long run. In a recent report for the Center for Immigration Studies, published by the authors, we also demonstrate the modest impact of immigration on slowing the aging of American society.”
The study found: “In 2017, three-fourths of immigrant women in their reproductive years were either Hispanic or Asian. The [total fertility rate] of native-born Hispanic women was 1.85 children and it was only 1.44 children for native-born Asians – both well below replacement level.
“If present trends continue, the TFR of immigrants may drop below 2.1 in the next few years, the level necessary to replace the existing population. An immigrant TFR of less than 2.1 would mean that, in the long run, immigration would add to the aging of American society.
“In June 2013, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said ‘Immigrants are more fertile.’ He and many others have argued for large-scale immigration on the grounds that America’s aging society needs immigrants and their higher fertility to, in Bush’s words, ‘rebuild the demographic pyramid.’ However, demographers have generally found that, although immigration can significantly increase the overall size of a nation’s population, its impact on slowing the aging of American society is very limited. To the extent that immigration can impact aging, it is partly due to immigrants’ higher fertility. However, immigrant fertility has declined significantly since 2008, as has the fertility of the native-born. Immigrant fertility has declined more steeply than that of natives; as a result, immigration’s small impact on the overall fertility rate has become more modest,” the report said.