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A report released by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows that the Census Bureau's projections indicate that the current high levels of immigration will have an "enormous impact" on the U.S. population's demographic make-up and overall size.

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In a first for the Census Bureau, the future size of the immigration population was projected. According to the report, immigrants will account for more than one in seven U.S. residents (51 million) by 2023. This would represent the largest share ever recorded in American history. The report goes on to state that driven largely by legal immigration, the immigrant population will grow to nearly one in five U.S. residents (78 million) by 2060.

The report also finds that with current immigration levels, the total U.S. population will grow to almost 417 million, 108 million more than in 2010, by 2060.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To place these numbers into historical context, as recently as 1990, immigrants were 7.9 percent (20 million) of the total U.S. population.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Read the full CIS report

Legal Immigration

Updated: Fri, May 8th 2015 @ 9:45am EDT