Population growth figures highlight need for US immigration reform

New statistics show that the US’s need for immigration reform in 2014 is vital if the country is to halt a sluggish population growth rate.

US immigrationAccording to the latest Census Bureau data, in the year to 1st July 2013 the country’s population increased by just 2.255 million people. Not only is this the smallest total increase since the 1980s, when measured against the size of the population, it is the lowest rate of growth recorded since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Experts suggest that the US’s sluggish economy continues to tamp down on immigration, while birth rates are still low for those already here.

Government estimates suggest that 30,409 fewer people arrived in America as permanent resident in 2012 compared to a year earlier, while the total number of newcomers was down by 234,498 people from the peak arrivals figure recorded in 2006.

“It shows the impact of the recession and its aftermath still exists,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. “What we’re seeing now [in terms of population growth] is really economically driven.”

The US government hopes to introduce wide ranging immigration reform, which would make it easier for skilled workers from abroad to emigrate to the country, in the new year. However, despite a reform bill being passed by the Senate in June, the new legislation’s chances of being passed by the House of Representatives remains in the balance.

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Article published 31st December 2013

US immigration