Archive for the ‘Demographics’ Category

A typical day at U.S. borders

Saturday, December 16th, 2017


Per the federal government, Border control people, on average each day, process 1,069,266 passengers and pedestrians, 326,723 incoming be air, 53,786 by boat, and 688,757 by land. 1,140 apprehensions among the 328 ports of entry and 135 border patrol stations. Customs and Border Control personnel stationed in 51 countries. Collect $122.7 million in fees, duties, and taxes. $6.3 billion worth of imported goods come into the US. Employ 59,221 CBP employees, including 22,910 CBP officers and 19,828 Border Patrol agents.

How many of the incoming persons are non-Americans? In 2016, 79 million foreigners visited the U.S. Of them, 38 million or 48% were Canadian or Mexican. This suggests that the vast majority of the daily million-odd border crossing involve American citizens, Mexicans and Canadians others who repeatedly cross by care for business or other near-daily purposes.

The “Northern Triangle” immigrants

Monday, December 11th, 2017

The term applies to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The Pew Research Center issued a report on how immigration from these countries surged since the Great Recession, while Mexican immigration has lagged. In 2000, legal and illegal Mexican entrants were estimated by Pew Research at 725,000, vs 100,000 from the Northern Triangle. Their respective figures in 2014 were 165,000 and 115,000.  The Northern Triangle countries are much more dependent on their citizens in the U.S. than is Mexico.

Populations: In 2015, 12 million Mexican immigrants lived in the U.S (125 million in the homeland). El Salvador had 1.4 million immigrants in the U.S. in 2015 (6.3 million in the homeland); Guatemala, 980,000(16.25 million); and Honduras, 630,000 (9 million). Some 57 million persons in the U.S. self-identify as Latino. Most have been born here.

Of the 3 million Northern Triangle immigrants living in the U.S. as of 2015, 55% were unauthorized, according to Pew Research Center estimates. By comparison, 24% of all U.S. immigrants were unauthorized immigrants.

Immigrants account for most of the 4.6 million U.S. residents with origins in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and are the main driver of the group’s growth. By contrast, two-thirds of Mexican Americans were born in the U.S., and births to U.S. residents are the main contributor to the group’s population growth.

Why Immigrate? Among Guatemalans deported from the U.S., 91% cited work as a main reason for coming, as did 96% of Hondurans deported from the U.S. and 97% of deported Salvadorans. Surveys of Northern Triangle migrants who were apprehended in Mexico while on the way to the U.S., then deported, also found that nearly all said they were moving to find work.

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey in El Salvador found that high shares of people living there – 90% or more – said crime, illegal drugs and gang violence were very big problems in their country. The same survey also found that most Salvadorans not only knew someone already living in the U.S., but also wanted to move to the U.S. themselves.

Remittances: In 2016, according to World Bank estimates, remittances to the three nations totaled $15.9 billion, of which most came from the U.S. Those remittances were the equivalent of about 17% of the total economic output (as measured by gross domestic product) in El Salvador, 11% in Guatemala and 18% in Honduras in 2016.  Remittances to Mexico in 2017 were $27 billion, or about 2.7% of GDP.

A World Bank brief about global remittance trends, published in October, noted that money sent home by Northern Triangle and Mexican migrants went up despite an increase in deportations from the U.S. The increase in remittances “is in part due to possible changes in migration policies. Migrants are sending their savings back home in case they must return.”

Mexican educational assimilation in the US

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

An important concern among immigrant research and policy communities is whether Mexican Americans progressively attain higher educational outcomes over generations, as do about all other immigrant groups, or whether progress stalls. Until now, research showed that progress stalled, that 3rd generation Mexican Americans failed to achieve higher education than 2nd generation.

A new study, using a hitherto unused data source, finds that education attainment has in fact progressed. This study corrected for two biases in previous studies. The authors were able to track Mexican origins even among people with this origin who no longer self-identify as Mexican, and they sorted out 3rd generation from later generations. They thus have a more accurate picture.

According to them, 84.25% of third generational Mexican Americans graduated from high school compared to non-Hispanic whites (86.17%) and blacks (74.97%). Yet four-year college completion was low (19.74%) compared with whites (39.34%). Hispanics are known to make use of community colleges. Among Hispanics, 53.53% have some college, compared with white (65%) and blacks (52.08%).

The study is by Brian Duncan et al, New Evidence of Generational Progress for Mexican Americans. NBER, November 2017.

Excerpts from the study:

We focus on education because it is a fundamental determinant of economic success, social status, health, family stability, and life opportunities.

Mexican Americans with mixed ethnic origins are less likely to identify as Mexican or Hispanic and also display higher levels of average attainment.

Ethnic attrition takes place when U.S.-born descendants of Mexican immigrants do not subjectively identify as Mexican American or Hispanic. Previous research indicates that ethnic attrition is substantial among later-generation Mexican Americans and that such attrition typically arises in families with mixed ethnic origins….The lack of information on grandparents’ countries of birth also implies that analysts cannot distinguish 3rd-generation from higher-generation Mexican Americans.

[From a new data source] We find substantial educational progress between 2nd- and 3rd-generation Mexican Americans. For a recent cohort of Mexican-Americans, our analysis thus provides promising evidence of generational advance. In particular, for this cohort of individuals born in the years 1980-84, the high school graduation rate of 3rd-generation Mexican Americans is only slightly below that of later-generation non-Hispanic whites.

Other measures of educational attainment—completed years of schooling, college attendance, and bachelors degree completion—also show sizable gains for Mexican Americans between the 2nd and 3rd generations. In contrast with high school completion, however, for these other education measures 3rd-generation Mexican Americans maintain large deficits relative to non-Hispanic whites, despite their generational gains.

Ultimately, our findings suggest that Mexican Americans do indeed experience substantial socioeconomic progress beyond the 2nd generation, and that this progress is obscured by limitations of the data sources commonly used to look for it.

US withdraws from UN migration pact

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

The U.S. has withdrawn from the unbinding U.N. compact on migration. According to The Guardian,” The announcement of the US withdrawal from the pact came hours before the opening of a UN global conference on migration scheduled to begin on Monday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In 2016, the 193 members of the UN general assembly unanimously adopted a non-binding political declaration. The initiative had the enthusiastic backing of Barack Obama, and was embraced by U.N Secretary General Antonio Guterres as one of his major challenges for 2018.

The compact said, “We are witnessing in today’s world an unprecedented level of human mobility. More people than ever before live in a country other than the one in which they were born. Migrants are present in all countries in the world. Most of them move without incident. In 2015, their number surpassed 244 million, growing at a rate faster than the world’s population. However, there are roughly 65 million forcibly displaced persons, including over 21 million refugees, 3 million asylum seekers and over 40 million internally displaced persons.

“No one State can manage such movements on its own….We acknowledge a shared responsibility to manage large movements of refugees and migrants in a humane, sensitive, compassionate and people –centred manner….Large movements of refugees and migrants must have comprehensive policy support, assistance and protection, consistent with States’ obligations under international law.”

The signatures committed themselves to:

protect the safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, and at all times;

support countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants;

integrate migrants – addressing their needs and capacities as well as those of receiving communities – in humanitarian and development assistance frameworks and planning;

combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination towards all migrants;

develop, through a state-led process, non-binding principles and voluntary guidelines on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations; and strengthen global governance of migration, including by bringing IOM into the UN family and through the development of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration

Foreign students here, American students abroad

Friday, November 24th, 2017

The Institute for International Education released its 2017 report on foreign students here and American students studying outside the U.S. Here are some highlights:

In 2016/17, for the second consecutive year, U.S. colleges and universities hosted more than one million international students, reaching a record high of 1.08 million.

But new students (enrolled in the Fall of 2016) declined by nearly 10,000 students to about 291,000. This is the first time that these numbers have declined in the twelve years since Open Doors has reported new enrollments.

The scaling back of large Saudi and Brazil government scholarship programs were a significant factor, as the number of students from those two countries showed the biggest decreases, particularly in non-degree study. Much of the increase reported for the past couple of years can be attributed to more students pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT) related to their academic fields after their degree studies, and thus remaining longer in the U.S. higher education system.

45 percent of the campuses reported declines in new enrollments for fall 2017, while 31 percent reported increases in new enrollments and 24 percent reported no change from last year.

While this year’s Open Doors report shows strong growth in the number of international students studying in the United States in the past decade, with an increase of 85 percent since 2006/07 (when there were fewer than 600,000 international students in U.S. higher education), the new findings signal a slowing of growth, with a three percent increase compared to increases of 7 to 10 percent for the previous three years.

Modest increases in the numbers of international students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees were partially offset by a decrease of 14 percent in the numbers enrolled in non-degree programs, including short-term exchanges and intensive English language programs.

Americans Studying Abroad

The report shows that 325,339 American students received academic credit last year at the home campus for study abroad in 2015/2016, an increase of four percent from the previous year. Study abroad by American students has more than tripled in the past two decades; however, the rate of growth had slowed following the financial crisis in 2008.

The top host destinations for U.S. students studying abroad in 2015/16 were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany. China dropped out of the top five host countries, as the number of U.S. students studying there decreased by 9 percent. Europe was the top host region, attracting more than 50 percent of Americans who studied abroad.

Puerto Ricans in a nutshell

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

The United States acquired Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship.

The first major wave of Puerto Rican migration to the mainland was in the 1950s, when a half million persons migrated. As of 2011, per the Pew Research Center, an estimated 4.9 million Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin resided on mainland U.S. That was more than the population of Puerto Rico itself in 2011, which was 3.7 million. Migration to the mainland has been heavy since the start of the Great Recession.

Puerto Ricans are the second-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 9.5% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2011, after Mexicans (33.5 million, or 64.6%, of the Hispanic population in 2011).

In 2011, 69% of Puerto Ricans were born on the mainland. People born in Puerto Rico are also considered native born because they are U.S. citizens by birth.

82% of Puerto Ricans ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.

Puerto Ricans are concentrated in the Northeast (53%), mostly in New York (23%), and in the South (30%), mostly in Florida (18%).

Puerto Ricans have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall but lower levels than the U.S. population overall. Some 16% of Puerto Ricans ages 25 and older—compared with 13% of all U.S. Hispanics and 29% among the U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.

The share of Puerto Ricans who live in poverty, 28%, is higher than the rate both for the general U.S. population (16%) and for Hispanics overall (26%). In 2016, Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate was more than double that of the mainland.


Attracting PhD talent to the US

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

In about 1980, PhD candidates began to show up from middle income countries, and from about 1990 candidates from low income countries (mainly India and China) surged. In 2008, close to half of PhD candidates in the U.S. in science and engineering came from abroad.

According to a 2013 published article, “Over the last half century, the United States has been the most important training ground for the global supply of science and engineering talent. Where S&E PhDs choose to locate after they have completed their education is likely to affect the global distribution of innovative capacity.

“77% of foreign-born S&E PhDs state that they plan to stay in the United States. The foreign students more likely to stay in the US are those with stronger academic ability, measured in terms of parental educational attainment and the student’s success in obtaining graduate fellowships.

“We find that S&E PhDs with the strongest academic potential, measured in terms of their attributes and performance at the time they enter graduate school, are those most intent on staying in the United States. The United States tends to succeed in luring the best and
brightest foreign students it has attracted to study in the country to stay in the United States after their degrees are completed.

“As countries develop they become more attractive locations for PhDs in science and engineering. Korea and Taiwan are possible examples of self-reinforcing processes [to return home]. They also provide examples of the powerful role that democratization can play in encouraging highly skilled workers to return home.”

Source: Attracting Talent: Location Choices of Foreign-Born PhDs in the United States. By
Jeffrey Grogger and Gordon H. Hanson.


Immigrants over-represented in creativity in U.S.

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Immigrants win disproportionately more MacArthur Genius grants and Nobel prizes and file more patents than do native-born Americans. Frank Bruni brought these counts together in a column in the NY Times.

MacArthur Grants: 20 grants for MacArthur Fellows have been be issued annually since 1981, over which time the foreign born population has averaged about 10%. Immigrants have won 21.7% of all grants.

Nobel Prizes: Adil Najam, a Boston University professor wrote in 2016: “Since its inception in 1901, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded to 911 persons and organization. The U.S. alone has had more than 350 Nobel winners. More than 100 of these have been to individuals born outside the U.S.” That means that at least 28% of U.S.Nobel laureates have been immigrants.

Patents: Jennifer Hunt, a professor of economics at Rutgers University reports that, among graduates of American colleges, immigrants are twice as likely to receive patents as native-born Americans. Her research further suggests that this doesn’t come at the expense of native-born Americans but in fact stimulates their innovation, too. Hunt’s findings are entirely accounted for by immigrants disproportionately holding degrees in science and engineering. The total amount of patents goes up in states with a high foreign graduate population.

Nobel prizes, faculty appointments, and immigrants to the U.S.

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

2016’s US Nobel laureates dominated the headlines not only for winning seven of the eleven prizes given worldwide, but because six of the winners are immigrants to the United States working at US educational institutions.

Since the Nobel Prize was established in the early 1900s, about 40% of the more than 900 prizes have gone to Americans. About 35% of all US Nobel laureates have been immigrants to the United States. Since the 1950s, about 15% of all Nobel Prizes awarded have gone to immigrants in the U.S.

Eighty percent of those individuals worked at universities at the time of winning the Nobel Prize.

in 2000 15.4% of faculty members were born outside the country and in 2004 that number increased to 22.1%. Foreigners in 2004 accounted for about 12% of the total population. today account for about 13% of the total population and 17% of the American workforce.

From the Institute for Immigration Research


School students: 23% are from immigrant families

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Almost one out of four (23%) public school students in the United States came from an immigrant household in 2015. As recently as 1990 it was 11%, and in 1980 it was just 7%.

Immigrant households are concentrated; just 700 of the 2,351 Census Bureau-designated PUMAs (Public Use Microdata Areas) account for two-thirds of students from immigrant households

In these 700 immigrant-heavy areas, half the students are from immigrant households.

Some of the metropolitan areas where students from immigrant households account for the largest share of enrollment include: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 60%; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., 57%; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla., 54%; McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, 50%; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 50%; Yuma, Ariz., 50%; Las Cruces, N.M., 44%; New York-Newark-Jersey City, 44%; Yakima, Wash., 44%; Trenton, N.J., 42%; Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev., 38%; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, 37%; Gainesville, Ga., 36%.

Immigration has added enormously to the population of students who speak a foreign language. In 2015, 23% of public school students spoke a language other than English at home. This compares to 14% in 1990 and 9% in 1980.

The impact of immigration varies a great deal across metropolitan statistical areas. In 38 of the nation’s 260 MSAs more than a third of students are from immigrant households, but in 40 of the nation’s MSAs fewer than 5 percent of students are from immigrant households.

From “Mapping the Impact of Immigration on Public Schools