highly educated foreign born by country

Note the high education status of Nigerians. The Indian figure may be elevated by a large number of temporary (H-1B) workers. India provides close to 20%, and China 10%, of all foreign born post grad degree holders in the U.S.

Visualization of foreign born persons in the U.S.

The Census has prepared an interactive graphic which shows, by country of origin, the number of foreign born persons by state, by percentage of that state’s population — and much more. For instance, close to 3% of New Jersey’s population was born in India. Nationwide, 48% of Nigerians in the U.S. arrived since 2010; but only 25% of Russians, most of whom arrived much earlier.  63% of El Salvadorans are not naturalized. About half of Mexicans in the U.S. have less than a high school degree.

The MS-13 gang, born in Los Angeles, deported to El Salvador

Matt Lakeman does a deep dive into the influence of deported Low Angeles gang members on criminal, particularly gang, violence in El Salvador.  Here is a long posting which summarizes Lakeman’s long article. The essential argument is that Los Angeles gangs of El Salvadorans, mainly M-13, set up business in El Salvador after being deported, though El Salvador was already a very violent country.

As Lakeman writes, in 1995, El Salvador had a homicide rate of 139 per 100,000, the highest in the world and one of the highest rates recorded in modern history. The national US homicide rate peaked in 1980 at 10.2. The 2023 rate was about 5.5, which is very high for a wealthy Western country (others mostly under 1.0).

While the murder rate in El Salvador fell quickly after 1995, it remained the highest on average in the world for much the following years, ranging between 40 and 107 from 2002 to 2018, typically beating out other highly murderous countries like Jamaica, Honduras and Brazil.  But in 2023, El Salvador’s official murder rate dropped to 2.4 per 100,000, putting it in the league of Lithuania, Montenegro, and Canada. The rates of El Salvador’s neighbors, Guatemala and Honduras, remain 5-10X higher.

Congress under President Bill Clinton passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). American crime had just peaked in the early 1990s and anti-immigrant sentiment was flaring up, so bipartisan support arose for a new set of rules designed to combat both with harsher laws and more deportations, particularly of immigrants with criminal records.

Thus, from 1998 to 2014, the United States deported 300,000 immigrants to Central America, tens of thousands of whom had criminal records. El Salvador was particularly impacted:

El Salvador before the 1990s was a savagely violent country due to repression by military dictatorships and civil war, which ended in 1992.  Fighting inflicted something like 80,000 dead (between military and civilian casualties) and more than half a million displaced.  More than one million Salvadorans fled the country throughout the war, close to one quarter of the total population. About half went to neighboring nations, though they were not particularly stable at the time. The rest went to the United States. From 1980 to 1990, the Salvadoran population in the US rose from 94,000 to 465,000. Immigrants tend to settle wherever their past countrymen settled, so most Salvadorans ended up in Los Angeles.

Summarizing the argument of deportations causing criminal violence

The theory of deportations causing a rise in violence from gangs argues that prior to deportations from the U.S., El Salvador had minimal organized crime presence aside from small street gangs and narco cartels keeping a low profile. However, the deportations injected tens of thousands of gang-affiliated Salvadorans with criminal records into the country. These deportees brought their gang culture and criminal experience, rapidly expanding the ranks of gangs like MS-13 and Barrio 18 by recruiting from an impoverished, war-scarred population.

Many deportees, lacking support, rejoined or reformed gangs upon return. A power vacuum from the new civilian police force, surplus of ex-soldiers and weapons after a long civil war, and lack of major cartel presence (such was in Colombia) enabled the American gangs to absorb local gangs. By 2016, an estimated 60,000-70,000 Salvadorans belonged to gangs controlling 94% of municipalities and costing the economy billions annually.

El Salvadoran gangs in the U.S.

Lakeman provides an account of the origins and evolution of the Salvadoran gang, MS-13, in Los Angeles. The gang emerged from the plight of Salvadoran refugee children and teenagers, who found themselves in a harsh environment, facing harassment from other gangs, and with little parental supervision.

(MS” stands for Mara, a slang term used in El Salvador meaning “gang” or “crew,” and Salvatrucha, the Salvadoran immigrants who formed the gang initially. “13” is a symbolic number representing the 13th letter of the alphabet, “M,” which stands for the Mexican Mafia, a powerful prison gang in California with which MS-13 had ties in its early days.)

Initially, MS-13 was formed by Salvadoran youth who adopted heavy metal aesthetics and Satanic imagery to protect themselves from Mexican gangs like Barrio 18. They gained a reputation for brutality, using machetes as their signature weapon, and engaging in devil worship.

Despite growing criminal sophistication, MS-13’s membership remained predominantly young, with many joining before the age of 15, attracted by the sense of community, protection, and belonging the gang offered to these displaced and vulnerable children. Lakeman highlights how the youth and traumatic backgrounds of MS-13 members contributed to their brutality and the gang’s allure.

Deportations to El Salvador

This graph shows the annual deportations of El Salvadorans from the U.S. between 1990 and 2015.

When the gangs migrated to El Salvador

MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs in El Salvador operated extensive extortion rackets, demanding “protection” payments from businesses of all sizes, even setting up checkpoints to charge fees for entering their territory. They marked their turf with pervasive graffiti and exercised judicial roles, sometimes fairly but often cruelly. Though female members existed, joining typically required being “beaten in” or enduring a gang rape.

Despite constantly incarcerated leadership, the gangs became increasingly sophisticated, developing hierarchies, record-keeping, accounting systems, and diplomacy with narco gangs for lucrative drug trafficking roles. Funds went towards operational costs like bribes, legal fees, businesses, and the brutal war between MS-13 and Barrio 18 over territory. This decades-long war not only saw gang-on-gang killings to control extortion rackets, but widespread civilian murders – for refusing payments, disrespect, or being caught in the crossfire. The violence terrorized El Salvador, causing tens of thousands of deaths and severely damaging the economy.

However, the El Salvador was not a paradise. 

The author writes that El Salvador’s murder rate peaked before the influx of Salvadoran criminal deportees. The US started to increase deportations in 1996 with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and then really started to ramp up deportations in 2003; but throughout that 1996-2003, the murder rate plummeted from 139 to a low of 47 in 2002. This means that El Salvador’s crime rate went down as more criminals came to the country.

In other words, El Salvador’s worst crime years came from non-gang affiliated Salvadorans. Lakeman tried to look into this but have found absolutely no explanations for who was doing all this killing in the late 1990s. His best guess is that there were a lot of reprisals and general lawlessness in the aftermath of the civil war that ended in 1992.

Looking at the post-2003 era, there also doesn’t seem to be much correlation between the number of gang members in El Salvador and the murder rate. Gang member estimates are hard to find, but the peak was likely either in 2015 or 2018. Yet the murder rate was generally parabolic until a peak in 2015 and then went into a fairly fast decline.

Nontheless, there is evidence that though the gangs committed an outsized proportion of criminal behavior, non-gang criminality is still a major factor in El Salvador. A report from the National Civil Police from around 2005 estimated that 60% of criminal activity came from the gangs.





CBO ties population growth to immigration

For the 30 years between 2024 and 2054, the Congressional Budget Office predicts:  Population growth generally slows over the next 30 years, from 0.6 percent per year, on average, between 2024 and 2034 to 0.2 percent per year, on average, between 2045 and 2054. Net immigration increasingly drives population growth and accounts for all population growth beginning in 2040, in part because fertility rates remain below the rate that would be required for a generation to replace itself in the absence of immigration.

This projection accounts only for foreign-born persons coming to the U.S. It does not take account that these foreign born persons are more likely than the U.S.born population to be of child bearing age. Hence their offspring – 2nd generation immigration contribute relatively more to population growth.

Who is attending college?

The chart below shows that Asian participation at college soars far above other groups. Also that white participation is only moderately more than that of Blacks and Hispanics. 

The rise of the college-attending Hispanic population is quite notable. Pew Research says, “In 1980, there were about 470,000 Latinos enrolled at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, accounting for 4% of all students. By 2000, Latino enrollment had increased to 1.5 million, or 10% of all students. And by 2020, 3.7 million Latinos were enrolled, accounting for a fifth of all postsecondary student.”

This trend is consistent with other socio-economic trends that bring Hispanics closer to the mainstream of American society. I have noted this trend, in particular here.

Americans less demanding of immigrants than most other countries — except for American conservatives

A Pew Research survey shows that American are more accommodating of immigrants than other countries — except for American conservatives.

Across 21 countries surveyed, a median of 91% say being able to speak their country’s most common language is important for being considered a true national, and 81% say sharing their country’s customs and traditions is important for true belonging. Views on the importance of birthplace and religion to national identity are mixed.

A remarkable finding: Americans are noticeably less demanding that people show emblems of national identity than do people in other countries.

Regarding speaking the national language, 78%  of Americans considered it important compared to 91% of the 21 country median.

On sharing the country’s customs and traditions, it was 71% for Americans and 81% for the entire 21 countries.

On being born in the country 50% for Americans bs 58%.

And on being a member of the country’s dominant religion, 37% of American agreed vs. 41% of the entire 21.

In the U.S. self-described conservatives were more insistent in each question than American liberals, usually by a spread of 30 points.  The strongest disparity of American conservatives was regarding religion: 16% of American liberals said it was important; 60% of American conservatives, and as noted above 41% of the entire 21 state set. Western European countries hovered around 30% or less.

Republican recruiting the immigration topic for 2024 elections

After taking some time off, I am back. The most salient immigration issue today is Mexican crossings. The Republican immigration bill H.2 is almost entirely focused on this issue, As I observe below, they is using this topic to address more salient other concerns of large numbers of voters.

Democrats consolidated their support for immigration, while the Republicans as a whole have not moved anti-immigrant, from 2003 to 2023 per Gallup polls. The reality is that only a small segment of the population and electorate consider immigration as a major issue.

Republicans’ views that immigration is good for the country have dropped slightly (55% to 52%), while Democrats’ views have risen a lot (55% to 83%), resulting in 30% partisan gap, a relatively large one. Republicans becoming more likely (55% to 58%) and Democrats (45% to 18%) less likely to say that immigration should be decreased.

Having said that, the issue is far more salient among a many but no all Republicans.

September 25, 2022 interview with Joel Rose of NPR: “In our polling, Republicans just seem to care a lot more about immigration than Democrats or independents do. I mean, we see in our polling, about a third of Republicans consistently list immigration among their top concerns. And for Democrats, it’s just not in that top tier.”

The partisan issue is not immigration per se, but societal deterioration.

In my view, the Republican Party is attempting to show that American society is experiencing a crisis in the American way of life, and that they recruit and mold issues to reinforce their argument.  For example, Republicans link the Fentanyl problem to migration beyond ports of entry.  In this way, they can blame the Fentanyl problem on the Biden Administration even though Fentanyl overdose deaths soared –tripled–during the Trump years.

This is what is driving the move to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas: to make him out as an agent of social deterioration.

And they basically make up figures about how Islamic fanaticism is a danger in the U.S. due to illegal immigration.   Since there has been essentially no Islamic terrorism attacks in the U.S. in recent years, this allegation gets no traction.

The Asian countries are aging much faster that the United Stares

Japan has the highest old-age dependency ratio (the ratio of the population over 65 to the working age population aged 15-64) of any major economy in the world. Japan’s ratio was 48.8% in 2020 and is projected to increase by 59%, to reach 77.7% by 2050. This reflects Japan’s longstanding low fertility rates and high life expectancy.

South Korea is aging rapidly as well. Its old-age dependency ratio was 22.3% in 2020 and is forecast to increase by 258%, to 57.7% by 2050. Like Japan, low fertility and rising life spans are driving this.

China today is young. Its ratio is sa low at 17.8% in 2020, but that is set to climb by 274%, to 48.9% by 2050. This represents a huge demographic shift for the world’s most populous country.

Singapore had an old-age depndency ratio of 17.8% in 2020, projected to reach 60.4% in 2050. Singapore shares the challenge of low fertility and rising old-age ratios with its Asian peers.

The United States has much more favorable demographics, with an old-age dependency ratio of 25.5% in 2020, expected to rise by 38%, to 35.3% in 2050.. This is overwhelmingly due to the relatively young Hispanic population (median age 30) vs the entire population (38) and white population (44).

Canada is and will be more aged that of the U.S., from 33% by 72% to 57%.

Thanks to Claude and ChatGPT.


Ireland’s population is booming

Ireland, is growing and Dublin has rapidly become a cosmopolitan city

The total population of Ireland in 2000 was approximately 3.8 million, of which 94% were white Irish. The population in 2022 was 5,149,000 of which 3,893,000 or 72% were white Irish. In the 12 months ending April 2023, 141,000 foreign born persons moved to Ireland – equivalent to close to 3% of the total population.  Compared to the flat populations of the EU, Ireland is booming due to immigration.

The country’s population is increasingly concentrated in Dublin, which now houses about a quarter of the entire population.

Go here and here.