Pew: Whites to Account for Less Than Half U.S. By 2055

Pew: Whites to Account for Less Than Half U.S. By 2055

Pew: Whites to Account for Less Than Half U.S. By 2055

In the coming decades, immigrants and their direct descendants will account for 103 million people, or 88 percent of U.S. population growth. That would have an impact on both the size of the U.S. and its demographic make up, according to new projections from the Pew Research Center.

The report, released Monday, reveals the extent to which the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965 has altered U.S. demographics from a system based on quotas resulting in more European immigrants to one which opened the America’s doors to large numbers of immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere.

According to Pew, since 1965 more than half of immigrants (51 percent) to the U.S. have been from Latin America and a quarter have been from Asia. From the mid-1800s through the early 1990s immigrants, Pew notes, were almost all from Europe.

Not only were immigrants prior to the 1965 INA largely European, they also arrived in smaller numbers. Pew reports that in nearly 80 years between 1840 and 1919, about 32.5 million — mostly European — immigrants arrived in the U.S. Meanwhile in the 50 years following the INA, 1965 to 2015, about 59 million immigrants — largely from Latin America and Asia — arrived in the U.S.

“As a result of its changed makeup and rapid growth, new immigration since 1965 has altered the nation’s racial and ethnic composition,” the Pew analysis reads. “In 1965, 84% of Americans were non-Hispanic whites. By 2015, that share had declined to 62%. Meanwhile, the Hispanic share of the U.S. population rose from 4% in 1965 to 18% in 2015. Asians also saw their share rise, from less than 1% in 1965 to 6% in 2015.”

 

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