Refugees created by American post 9 /11 wars — aren’t we meant to fix it?

The U.S, has admitted less than 5% of the internationally displaced persons due to post 9/11 wars, all waged by the U.S. as anti-terrorism wars,

The U.S. has admitted 2000 – 2020 about 1.7 million persons as refugees/ asylees (refugees apply outside the U.S., asylees within the U.S.) (See here and here.)

The US post 9/11 wars have forcibly displaced at least 38 million people in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Somalia. This exceeds those displaced by every war since 1900 except World War II. This is a conservative estimate., The number may be closer to 49-60 million.

From these 8 countries, 7.9 million have sought residence in other countries.

2 million Afghans have been displaced outside their country since 9/11. Between 9/11 and 2019, the U.S. admitted about 90,000 Afghans, or less than 5% of those internationally displaced. It may admit 100,000 – 150,000 since complete withdrawal.

2.3 million Iraqis were displaced outside their country since 9/11. (Here and here.) Since then, perhaps 100,000 or less have immigrated. (The mayor of Dearborn MI is an Iraqi-American,). At 100,000 this is less than 5% of those international displaced.

Count of internationally displaced persons in post 9/11 wars:
Afghanistan – 2 million, Pakistan 400,000, Yeman – 70,000, Somalia – 800,000, Iraq – 2.3 million, Libya – 200,000, Syria – 2.1 million


How to respond to a 3% decline in workforce

The American workforce as shrunk in pandemic times by upwards of 5 million. This has speeded up the predicted decline in rate of workforce growth.  Prior to the pandemic it grew by about one million a year. Immigration typically accounted for about 500,000 a year, most recently less. The Biden immigration bill may increase immigrant workers to perhaps a million a year.

Starting in about 2015 and going forward, the net growth in the American workforce will largely be due to immigration, in part because of the aging on the U.S. born population. Without immigration, the total working age population would decline by 2035 by 4%. With immigration, it will increase by 6%.

Mathew Yglesias writes, The last two big debates about comprehensive immigration reform (in 2007 and 2013) were very weak times for the American labor market. But that’s not the situation today. In 2017-19, the Trump administration drastically reduced legal immigration. Immigration further tumbled for pandemic-related reasons and has only very partially recovered since Joe Biden took office. All told, David Bier calculates that we are 1.2 million immigrants short of our early-Trump pace, which was a reduction from the Obama pace, which itself was a reduction from the Bush pace.

The Biden immigration bill (U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021) the total number of green cards is forecast to increase by 28% from about 1,180,000 to 1,510,000. Family-related visas (immediate and relatives) are to remain basically flat, while employment-related visas are expected to grow by 285%.

Much higher approval of inter-racial marriage

The percentage of adults approving of marriage between Black and white people went from 4% in 1958 to 94% in 2021, per the Gallup poll. In 1967, 16 states had anti-miscegenation laws, the year in which the Supreme Court banned these laws in Loving v. Virginia.

This change in opinion took time among older people., For people 50 or older in 1991, only 27% approved vs 91% in 2021 (when 98% of persons 18-29 approved).

The chart below shows the change in support by region of the country. Note how the South lagged and the West led, with the entire country uniformly in very high approval in 2021

From Gallup.

About 1,000 people are the basis of today’s 7.8 billion people

Razib Kahn writes that there is relatively very little genetic diversity among humans outside of the remaining hunter-gatherer communities in sub-Sahara Africa (such as Khoi, the San, the Mbuti, the Mbenga, the Twa and the Hadza). There may well have been several waves of migration out of Africa. The one which dominate human society grew out of demographic bottleneck 60,000 years ago. He writes:

93-98.5% of the ancestry of humans outside of Sub-Saharan Africa (among those with no recent Sub-Saharan African ancestry, obviously) derives from a breeding population of 1,000 to 10,000, which expanded rapidly 60,000 years ago (reaching Australia and Europe around 45,000 and 50,000 years ago, accordingly).

Those 1,000-10,000 human beings who made it through their ordeal, smuggled out in their nuclei all the genetic diversity 6.42 billion very-not-diverse humans among us today would have to draw on ever after. Take a native each from say Santa Fe, Stockholm, Shanghai, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, Uluru in the Australian outback and a Sentinelese person from the Andaman Islands and you behold a little of the amazing superficial variety of the human race. They and their relatives have peopled almost every corner of the earth. They speak a riot of different languages and they look nothing like one another. And yet, aside from a dash of Denisovan here and a trace of Neanderthal there, as far as we can tell, they all trace the entirety of their ancestry back to a single founder event about 60,000 years ago.

An event when just a tiny subsample of 1,000-10,000 humans of that day passed through a brutal, extended bottleneck. Whether it was in Africa or just after leaving the continent, they burst out of that dire strait and re-peopled the globe.

Conservatives vs Liberals on decline of White pop share

About a third of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents (34%) say the decline of the White share of the population is bad for society, including 38% of conservative Republicans and 26% of moderate and liberal Republicans. Few Republicans (5%) say it is good for society.

By contrast, around a quarter of Democrats and Democratic leaners (24%) say this demographic shift is a good thing. However, liberal Democrats are more likely than conservative and moderate Democrats (32% vs. 17%) to say the declining share of White people is good for society, while conservative and moderate Democrats are more likely than their liberal counterparts (18% vs. 7%) to say this shift is bad.

From Pew Research

Comparing racial/ethnic diversity with state political profiles


The racial and ethnic diversity of a state is an unreliable predictor of the political party tendency the state. You see this when comparing the Diversity Index to the state’s politics.

The Census has developed the Diversity Index: A value of 0 indicates that everyone in the population has the same racial and ethnic characteristics. A value close to 1 indicates that almost everyone in the population has different racial and ethnic characteristics. We have converted the probabilities into percentages to make them easier to interpret.

For example, in 2020 there was a 73.7% chance in Prince William County, Virginia, that two people chosen at random were from different racial or ethnic groups. In Hawaii County, Hawaii, there was a 77.7% chance that two people chosen at random were from different racial or ethnic groups.

For the entire country, the chance that two people chosen at random will be from different racial or ethnic groups has increased to 61.1% in 2020 (That is, a DI of 61%) from 54.9% in 2010.

In 2020, Republicans totally dominated in 15 states. Lowest diversity was Wyoming at 32%. The highest diversity was Texas at 67%

Democrats totally swept 14 states. Lowest diversity was in Colorado at 52%; highest. Highest diversity is Hawaii at 76%.

Diversity is the long game in the U.S. reflecting slave ownership, 1880-1910 immigration, and immigration since 1970. Politics is a shorter game. Hence, Northern New England states, which send only Dems to Congress, have an average index of 20%; Great Plains states of 38%, and Deep South of 55%.

Political profiles from here, and Census figures from here and here. Also go here.

One million people have left the United Kingdom

I have posted here that, largely thanks the European Union, EU workers 8% once made up 8% of the British workforce of 35 million. That’s changed. Here from the Guardian:

In the past 20 years, the number of jobs in the United Kingdom grew six millions. That changed in 2020. With Covid-19 pushing the number of deaths to the highest in a century, and birthrates falling, it seems likely that more people died than were born for the first time since 1976. And there was a dramatic exodus of foreign-born residents from the UK. At the end of 2020 Britain had almost a million fewer non-UK-born residents than a year earlier. This would represent by far the largest annual fall in the resident population since the second world war, with London especially hard hit.

We don’t depend on immigration just for agricultural workers and coffee shops, but also for tech startups, creative industries, and universities – the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy. Overall, migration has created jobs, boosted innovation and productivity – and made us all richer. As has been brought home by the pandemic, our public services – and other sectors we’ve come to realise are “essential” – are often staffed by immigrants.

Storm Lake, the fastest growing city in Iowa

From the Storm Lake Times: The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Storm Lake’s population was 11,300 in 2020, a 6.3% increase from 10 years prior.

Iowa State University Sociologist Dave Peters told The Times the city’s distinction as the state’s most diverse community is the reason why it posted more growth than the state’s 13 cities of similar size and geographic location. An analysis he completed found Buena Vista County would have shrunk by 12% if it were not for non-white population growth.

The chief underlying cause of the upward pressure is Tyson Foods’ expansions to its Storm Lake facilities. The company, which has added over $100 million collective value to its Storm Lake plants since 2010, now employs around 3,200 people at wages ranging from $17 to $22 per hour.

(Thanks to the National Immigration Forum, here and here.)

From an editorial in the Storm Lake Times:

Immigration has been the story of Iowa since the mid-19th century. The Danes came to Newell, the Swedes to Albert City, the Germans to Hanover, the Irish to Sulphur Springs. Now Latinos, Asians and Africans are writing a new chapter of growth by launching their own enterprises and improving their own lot through education.

That model can be repeated throughout Iowa. There will be jobs in a new energy economy in towns that have actively resisted immigration. Someone will have to fill them. There will be new food processing jobs in southern Iowa as cattle move north, and Latinos will fill them. Iowa’s future, like its past, is bound up in the endless cycle of immigration. Storm Lake is attempting to make the most of it, and so are the little towns around. It’s a tremendous tale of success that Iowa should study.


Worker gaps growing in upper and middle income countries.

Evidence of labor supply, or worker gap in a country includes (1) an absolute decline in working age population and (2) an increase in the aged population compared to the working age population. A labor supply gap in a country can be solved by either automation and/or immigration.

From the Center for Global Development: 

For the period 2015 to 2050, prime working-age populations of OECD (
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries will shrink by more than 92 million people while there will be nearly 1.4 billion new working-age people in developing countries.

In high income countries, the population aged 20-64 will be 46 million smaller in 2050 than 2020. In upper-middle income countries there will be 85 million fewer potential workers.

The “dependency” ratio for a country is the number of young and old people not usually in the labor force compared to the working age population (say, 20 through 64 years). 2020-2050 will see rapidly rising dependency ratios in those countries driven by aging. The number of people aged 65 or older expressed as a percentage of the population aged 20 to 64 will climb from 31 percent to 50 percent in high-income countries between 2020 and 2050, and from 17 percent to 40 percent in upper-middle income economies

The ‘worker gap’ adds up to 202 million people in high income countries and 465 million in upper-middle income countries. China alone will see a worker gap of 384 million connected with a working age population that will shrink by 160 million between 2020 and 2050 as the population of retirement-age workers expands.



The rise and decline of unauthorized migrant farm workers

Here are two graphs which clearly show that the 2000s were the high point of unauthorized crop workers in the United States, after a tremendous surge which matches the rise and then slight decline of unauthorized persons in the country. the crop worker population became more settled (less migratory) and less unauthorized. I’ve noted this before as part of a larger context, which the gradual normalization of immigrants into the U.S. born population.

First, let’s look at the growth of the total unauthorized population. See how it rose a lot, then stopped growing.
Now let’s compare for four years between 1990 and 2018 the % of crop workers which were unauthorized (left); the percentage of crop workers who were migratory (center); and the percentage of crop workers who were citizens or green card holders  (right).It becomes clear that the sharp rise then decline in unauthorized crop worker population is closely associated with migratory work. Since then, legal workers have increased.

From here.