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Asians will be largest immigrant group in U.S. in 50 years: Pew study

Asians will be largest immigrant group in U.S. in 50 years: Pew study.

In a major shift in immigration patterns over the next 50 years, Asians will
have surged past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to
the United States, according to estimates in a new immigration study.

The study looks in detail at what will happen by 2065, but the actual tipping
point comes in 2055.

An increase in Asian and Hispanic immigration also will drive U.S. population
growth, with foreign-born residents expected to make up 18 per cent of the
country's projected 441 million people in 50 years, the Pew Research Center said
in a report being released Monday. This will be a record, higher than the nearly
15 per cent during the late 19th century and early 20th century wave of
immigration from Europe.

Today, immigrants make up 14 per cent of the population, an increase from
five per cent in 1965.

The actual change is expected to come in 2055, when Asians will become the
largest immigrant group at 36 per cent, compared with Hispanics at 34 per cent.
White immigrants to America, 80 per cent back in 1965, will hover somewhere
between 18 and 20 per cent with black immigrants in the eight per cent to nine
per cent range, the study said.

Without any post-1965 immigration, the U.S. would be 75 per cent white, 14
per cent black, eight per cent Hispanic and less than one per cent Asian, Pew

Currently, 47 per cent of immigrants living in the United States are
Hispanic, but by 2065 that number will have dropped to 31 per cent. Asians
currently make up 26 per cent of the immigrant population but in 50 years that
per centage is expected to increase to 38 per cent.

Pew researchers analyzed a combination of Census Bureau information and its
own data to develop its projections.

Part of the reason for the shift is that the fertility rate of women in Latin
America and especially Mexico has decreased, said Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew's
director of Hispanic research. In Mexico, Lopez said, women are now having
around two children, when back in the 1960s and 1970s, they were having about
seven children per woman.

"There are relatively fewer people who would choose to migrate from Mexico so
demographic changes in Mexico have led to a somewhat smaller pool of potential
migrants," he said. "At the same time we've seen a growing number of immigrants
particularly from China or India who are coming for reasons such as pursuing a
college degree or coming here to work temporarily in the high-tech sector."

Despite the increase in Asian immigrants, Hispanics will still make up a
larger number inside the United States, Lopez said.

"Hispanic population growth is coming from people born here in the United
States," he said. "It is really U.S. births that are now the driver of Hispanic
population growth, and that's a recent change from what we saw in the '80s and

By 2065, no racial or ethnic group will hold a majority in the United States,
with whites holding 46 per cent of the population, Hispanics at 24 per cent,
Asians at 14 per cent and blacks at 13 per cent. Currently, the country is 62
per cent white, 18 per cent Hispanic, 12 per cent black and 6 per cent Asian.

Pew also asked Americans surveyed for one word to describe immigrants in the
U.S. today. Twelve per cent said "illegal," "overpopulation" was at five per
cent, "legality (other than illegal)" at four per cent, and "jobs,"
"deportation," "Americans" and "work ethic" at three per cent each. Forty-nine
per cent offered general descriptions, and of those 12 per cent were positive,
11 per cent negative and 26 per cent neutral, according to the report.

Americans also said immigrants are likely to make the United States better,
with 45 per cent agreeing with that statement and 37 per cent saying they make
the country worse. Eighteen said they don't have much of an effect one way or
the other.

About half of respondents said immigrants are making the economy and crime
worse, but about the same percentage believe immigrants are improving food,
music and the arts, the report said.

Just under half of respondents said Asian and European immigrants have had a
mostly positive effect on society, but Pew said Americans are more likely to
have negative views about Latin American and Middle Eastern immigrants.

The survey was conducted online from March 10 to April 6, 2015. The survey's
margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 per centage points.
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