Impact of immigration of U.S. population growth since 1965

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act replaced the restrictionist and explicitly racist Immigration Act of 1924. In 1965 there were 6.9 million foreign-born persons in the United State. Today there about 45 million.

Between 1965 and 2015, new immigrants, their children and their grandchildren accounted for 55% of U.S. population growth. They added 72 million people to the nation’s population as it grew from 193 million in 1965 to 324 million in 2015. Growth of this size was not anticipated in 1965.

In 1980, foreign-born persons were geographically concentrated pretty much as they were in the 1920s – in California, the Northeastern cities, and some old cities in the interior such as Chicago. Since about 1980 they have spread throughout the country.

The combined population share of immigrants and their U.S.-born children was 26% in 2015 and has also certainly risen. That percentage (which leaves out third generation) is projected to rise to 36% in 2065, at least equaling previous peak levels at the turn of the 20th century.

From Pew Research.

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