The Democratic sweep in this Tuesday’s elections in Virginia invites a look at immigration trends in the state and the possible impact of voting by naturalized citizens. Well-educated foreign-born, naturalized adult citizens have likely grown from perhaps 4% of eligible voters in 2000 to 8% in 2017. This is due to many more foreign-born adults, their higher education profile, and to naturalization trends.
Surge in foreign-born adults: foreign-born persons age 25 + rose from 6.4% of all persons 25 + in 1990, to 10.6% in 2000, to 18.6% in 2017. In absolute numbers, the foreign-born pop 25 + doubled 2000 – 2017 while the U.S. born population grew by 16%.
An increasing share of immigrants have naturalized and are eligible to vote. I infer that the 18 + population of naturalized citizens rose 250% from around 200K in 2000 to around 500K in 2017, while the vote-eligible U.S. born rose by only around 15%.
Note that the most recent figure is for 2017, i.e. would not reflect any greater proclivity to be naturalized during the Trump administration, as a risk management step.
Foreign-born adults are better educated than U.S. born in a state that is a leader in education. In 2017, 43% of foreign-born Virginians had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 38% of U.S. born adults in Virginia. Virginia is one of the best-educated states in the country).