Immigration Levels have Resumed After Recession

The New York times reports that the flow of immigrants to the United States has resumed, after falling to the lowest level in decades during the recession, a new study finds. 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, according the study, which was conducted by the Brookings Institution and is being released on Thursday. The rise pointed to an increase in demand for immigrant labor in the economy, said Audrey Singer, a demographer and co-author of the report. 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. “It’s an uptick in opportunity,” Ms. Singer said. “Immigrants are very mobile in responding to economic changes.” In 1980, the foreign-born population in the United States was about 4.5 million. By 2000, it had reached 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.

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