Archive for the ‘Demographics’ Category

Foreign students in US from boom to decline

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Overall, foreign student enrollment at U.S. colleges jumped 10% in 2014-15 to a record 974,927. China supplied nearly one-third of last year’s tally, but build its own education infrastructure to keep students at home.

New-student enrollments by foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities fell 3.3% in 2015 – 2016, the first decline in a decade. Overall international-student enrollments rose by 3.4%, to 1.08 million, a record high but the smallest year-over-year gain since 2009. Many institutions have grown reliant on a steady stream of students from other countries to counter tight state funding and high tuition discounts that are now the norm for local students.

In the year 2016- 2017 ending Sept. the State Department issued 393,573 student visas, known as F-1s. That was down 17% from the previous fiscal year and nearly 40% below the 2015 peak. The drop-off was particularly dramatic among Indian students this year, with a 28% decline in visas from the second-biggest feeder of foreign students at U.S. colleges.

There was also a big drop from China—down 24% last year and the No. 1 source of foreign students in the U.S. China has invested heavily in its local institutions in recent years, pushing to keep intellectual talent close to home.


Who are the Mexicans being deported?

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

The Migrant Border Crossing Study found out who were the deportees in their 2010 – 2012 interviews. Three quarters had previously lived or worked in the United States. Among those who had lived or worked in the United States, the median time spent in the U.S. was seven years. Half have at least one family member who is a U.S. citizen, and about one in four have at least one child under the age of 18 who have U.S. citizenship. Almost half of those interviewed expressed that they intended to permanently emigrate during their last crossing, and 28% stated that their current home is located in the United States.

The average person was 31 years old, with eight years of formal education and earning a median household income of $280 per month before attempting to cross into the United States. About half spoke at least some English, and one in ten spoke an indigenous language in addition to Spanish. More than half were employed before deciding to leave Mexico, and 42% were the sole income provider for their families.

The majority (56%) reported that they would return to the United States sometime in the future with the rate being substantially higher for people who considered their current home to be located in the United States.

Crossing the Mexican border illegally

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

The Migrant Border Crossing Study (MBCS), in 2010-2012 interviewed 1,113 recent deportees about their experiences crossing the border, being apprehended by U.S. authorities, and being repatriated to Mexico. The interviews took place in six cities in Mexico to which about 66% of the roughly 400,000 annual deportations were deported.

Typically, male respondents (80% of those interviewed) had made 5.3 lifetime crossing attempts and about 3 previous apprehensions. About two thirds had been apprehended by the Border Patrol while attempting to cross and the remaining 30% had managed to make it to their destination, but were picked up later by police or other authorities. Only 9% had crossed a port of entry, thus 91% has crossed away from ports of entry, such as the desert. 12% had been abandoned while crossing.

Three quarters relied on a “coyote” or human smuggler to get into the United States, agreeing to pay a median of $2,500 USD for their services. They walked for more than two days through the harsh conditions along the border. Thirty-nine percent ran out of water during their trip and 31% ran out of food. The extreme heat and harsh terrain where people cross has killed thousands of people.

12% had been robbed by bandits during the last crossing. 7% were kidnapped.17% were victims of “cyber kidnappings,” where people call with false claims about having kidnapped a family member to extort a ransom.

77% had lived in the U.S. for an average of 8.9 years. 70% of people who perceived their current home to be in the United States planned on crossing again in the future, compared to just 49% of those who said their home is not in the United States. 37% of people who perceived their current home to be in the United States indicated they would attempt another crossing within the next week.

Deportations leaving American children behind

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Since 2010 well over one million child citizens have had at least one parent deported since 2010.

About 5 million U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 live with an undocumented family member. This is 30% of all children with at least one immigrant parent and 7% of all children.4.1 million are born in the U.S. (Source: Migration Policy Institute)

ICE issued more than 200,000 deportations for parents with citizen children between 2010 and 2012, according to the most recent government data available. While the government does not track whether U.S. citizen children stay in the United States or leave with a deported parent, both scenarios occur and pose challenges. Go here). That this rate, some 500,000 parents of American citizens have been deported since 2010.

Alternatively, this implies that since 2010 well over one million child citizens have had at least one parent deported since 2010.


Undocumented population continuing to decline

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

• The undocumented population was 10.8 million in 2016, the lowest level since 2003.
• The number of US undocumented residents from Mexico fell by almost one million between 2010 and 2016, from 6.6 million to 5.7 million. Mexican undocumented population began to decline in about 2008.
• Average annual undocumented population growth dropped from 15% plus in the 1990s to about 4% plus percent in 2000 to 2010, to 1% decline between 2010 and 2016.

By the Center for Migration Studies of New York

The Center does not analyze the causes for the decline between 2010 and 2016 other than to mention that during the Obama administration ICE enforcement picked up, with a rise in deportations to about 400,000 year.

Another reason may be demographic shifts in Mexico, with a relative lowering of the population of young males who are the type of person most likely to be an undocumented. This is causing labor shortages in California farming.

Four questions about foreign language speakers in the U.S.

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Learning English — and becoming proficient in it — is virtually essential for immigrants. Parents and youth who can converse in English are better equipped to access health care, secure employment and engage with their community. (Ge here).

How many people speak other than English at home? Ans: 50 million, or about 16% of the population

According to Pew Research, in 2011, 37.6 million persons ages 5 years and older speak Spanish at home. The next most spoken non-English languages are Chinese (with 2.8 million speakers), Hindi, Urdu or other Indic languages (2.2 million), French or French Creole (2.1 million), Tagalog (1.7 million), and Vietnamese (1.4 million). Adding other languages, the total is probably around 50 million.

Since there were in 2011 about 42 million foreign born-persons, this means that 8 million then were born in the U.S. who speak other than English at home. A good number of these are likely U.S. born children of immigrants.

What share of the Hispanic speak Spanish at home? Ans: about 70%

There were 56.5 million Hispanics in the United States in 2015, accounting for 17.6% of the total U.S. population. This implies that about 70% of speak Spanish at home.

In 1980, 10 million persons spoke English at home. In 2000, 25 million spoke Spanish at home.  In 2011, 37.6 million.

Are more Hispanics speaking English? Ans: yes.

This is due to demographic changes with more U.S. born Hispanics vs. recent immigrants. In 2012. 59% of Hispanic adults speak English proficiently, up from 54% in 2006 and 2000, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

In 2014, When asked about their language use and English proficiency in 2014, some 88% of Hispanics ages 5 to 17 said they either speak only English at home or speak English “very well,” up from 73% who said the same in 2000.

Fully 89% of U.S.-born Hispanics spoke English proficiently in 2013, up from 72% in 1980. That means, of course, the 11% of U.S. born Latinos did not speak English proficiently in 2013.

How many children of immigrants live in linguistically isolated homes? Ans: about 4 million or about 21% of children of immigrants.

Linguistically isolated households have zero individuals age 14 or older who speak only English or who speak English very well.

Fourteen percent of all kids in immigrant families have a hard time speaking English, 21% live in linguistically isolated households, and 54% live with parents who have difficulty speaking English.

The rate of linguistic isolation among children in immigrant families has dropped—from 26% in 2008 to 21% in 2015.

Foreign trained doctors in the U.S.

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Among the 12.4 million workers employed in health-care occupations in 2015, 2.1 million (17%) were foreign born. The foreign born accounted for 28% of the 910,000 physicians and surgeons practicing in the United States, and 24% of the 2.1 million nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides (go here).

Physicians who were trained outside the U.S.

About 25% of practicing physicians are graduates of foreign medical schools. Of these upwards of a third are American citizens who obtained their medical degree from a foreign medical school. A recent study reports the “evidence suggests the care these physicians provide is as good as or better than that provided by graduates of US schools. They are substantially more likely to practice in rural and poorer communities and are overrepresented in primary care specialties, including family medicine and pediatrics. Shortages of US physicians are predicted to increase, both in primary care in certain specialties over the coming decades” (go here).

To gain access to practice in the U.S. foreign medical school graduates must pass tests by a gatekeeper special commission, and also enter residency programs, even if they have done them before. This is a major disincentive to immigrate. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) was created 60 years ago and “represents the interests of the organized medical profession.”

According to the Commission, of the roughly 10,000 certifications it gave in 2015, the last year reported, 30.9% of certificates were issued to U.S. citizens, and 18.9% were from India or Pakistan, and 7.9% from Canada. The American citizens appear to be educated in one of about six Caribbean islands, Grenada and Dominica being the largest.

Foreign medical school graduates have a very high percentage of practicing physicians in some state: New Jersey (40%), New York (38%), and Florida (35%).


El Salvadoran immigrants and Temporary Protected Status

Friday, January 26th, 2018

In 1980, 95,000 Salvadoran immigrants lived in the U.S. Today 1.17 million do. A total of 2.1 million, which includes immigrants and their American-born children, constitute the third-largest Hispanic group in the United States, after those of Mexican and Puerto Rican origin, according to the Pew Research Center. Roughly. About 600,000 of the 1.17 million immigrants are here illegally. 265,000 live in Los Angeles. 165,000 live in the D.C. area.

Remittances, which mostly come from the United States totaled $4.58 billion in 2016, representing 17% of the country’s economy (Gross Domestic Product).

Generations of Salvadorans have left in search of land and work. Neighboring Honduras was once a crucial demographic escape valve. A 1969 war closed it, and disrupted the Central American common market, destabilizing El Salvador politically. There was a savage 1979-1992 civil war between U.S.-supported governments and Marxist guerrillas. That conflict drove hundreds of thousands to the United States, establishing a migratory pattern that continues to this day.

Very few Salvadorans, about 10%, who arrived as immigrants had a high school degree, but about 50% of second generation Salvadorans do.

Temporary Protected Status

Following a series of earthquakes in 2001, the U.S. granted Temporary Protected Status to 217,000 Salvadorans living in the U.S. Prior to leaving office in January 2001, the Clinton Administration said it would temporarily halt deportations to El Salvador because of a major earthquake. In 2001, the George W. Bush Administration decided to grant TPS to Salvadoran nationals following two earthquakes that rocked the country. Temporary Protected Status provides temporary lawful status to foreign nationals in the United States from countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary circumstances that prevent their safe return. TPS was established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. (From here.)

On January 8, 2018, the Trump administration announced that it is removing TPS status effective September, 2019.  About 20,000 Salvadorans are in DACA status.

Other sources: Washington Post and the Migration Policy Institute


White voters and immigration

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

The present confrontation in Congress involving immigration highlights how Americans perceive changes in the ethnic and racial makeup of the country.

Two researchers carried out some experiments by interviewing white Americans about ethnic-racial diversity. They selectively brought up demographic trends in which non-white population will continue to grow relatively to white. They found “compelling evidence” that raising the shifting U.S. racial demographics, even well in the future, leads white Americans to perceive greater threat to their racial group’s status, which motivates them to increase their support of a variety of conservative policy positions.

They also wrote that making this demographic shift salient for black Americans may result in group-status threat and shifts in endorsement of conservative ideology similar to those found among white respondents.

Pew Research says that by 2055, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority. Much of this change has been (and will be) driven by immigration. Over the next five decades, the majority of U.S. population growth is projected to be linked to new Asian and Hispanic immigration.

From On the Precipice of a ”Majority-Minority” America: Perceived Status Threat From the Racial Demographic Shift Affects White Americans’ Political Ideology, by Psychological Science published April 2014

More immigrants are becoming citizens

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Many immigrants who are here on permanent visas (green cards) don’t take out citizenship, but most do, and the rate has gone up. According to Pew Research, naturalization rates rose from 62% in 2005 to 67% in 2015.

Eligible immigrants from Vietnam, 86%, and Iran, 85%, had the highest naturalization rates of any group in 2015. Above 80% rates are seen for India, South Korea and a few other countries. The rate among Chinese is 76%.

Mexican immigrants have long had among the lowest U.S. naturalization rates (42%) of any origin group. I bet the higher rate of naturalization is due to more eligible persons being from Asia than from Mexico.

There are about 45 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. 44% of them, or close to 20 million, are naturalized citizens. An estimated. 9.3 million are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship (that doesn’t mean they will pass the tests). That leaves about 2.6 million legally here but not yet eligible for citizenship. The 11 million illegal immigrants are of course not eligible.

To be eligible for U.S. citizenship, immigrants must be age 18 or older, have resided in the U.S. for at least five years as lawful permanent residents (or three years for those married to a U.S. citizen), and be in good standing with the law, among other requirements. The process to begins with submitting an application and paying a $725 fee. It culminates with an oath of allegiance. Current processing times range from seven months to a year.

The U.S. government denied naturalization applications from 2005 to 2015 to 11% of the 8.5 million applications filed during this time. The standards are here. Ability to speak English is one of them but there are exemptions based on age and length of time in the U.S.