Archive for the ‘Demographics’ Category

Immigrant representation in Congress

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

There are 52 immigrants and children of immigrants serving in the House of Representatives and 16 serving in the Senate. Counting both chambers, 57 of the 68 lawmakers who are immigrants or children of immigrants are Democrats. Ten others are Republicans, and one – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – is an independent.

The following table shows the region of origin. Note the drastic shift from presentation from European countries. (Data from here.)


Poland trying to bring back its citizens

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Poland is introducing personal income tax exclusions to induce its people to return to the country. In 2004, when it entered the EU, 400,000 Poles lived outside the country. Millions of Poles have left – about 2.5 million, of which 750,000 are students studying in Germany and elsewhere. These expatriates are likely concentrated among the young and prime working age. The country’s entire population is about 39 million.

A new law will exclude many persons under 26 years old from an 18% income tax. From here.


Filipino workers around the world

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

No country has worked harder than the Philippines to export its people, and no people have proved more eager to go. since the mid-1970s the government has trained and marketed overseas workers not just drumming up jobs but fashioning a brand — casting the Filipino as a genial hard worker, the best in low-cost labor. in 1977 Wingtips, the magazine of Philippine Airlines, insisted that “Filipinos don’t pose the problems that guess workers from, say, the Mediterranean belt have in Western Europe.” they won’t riot or strike.

Critics later called the sale of the happy hard-working Filipino infantilizing, an effort to turn people into remittance machines.  But most Filipinos like that their country was known as the HR department of the world.

More than 2 million Filipinos depart each year, enough to fill a dozen or more Boeing 747s  a day. About one and seven Filipino workers is employed abroad. and the $32 billion that they send home accounts for 10% of the GDP. Migration to the Philippines what cars once were to Detroit: the civil religion. The Philippine Daily Inquirer runs nearly 600 stories a year on overseas Filipino workers or “OFW‘s”. Half have the fevered feel of gold rush ads. Half sound like human rights complaints.

Published in The Atlantic. Adapted from A Good Provider is one who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century, by Jason Deparle, published 2019.


Filipino women packing pineapples in Hawaii, 1928.




Expect most climate change-related migration to be relatively local

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Climate change is inducing several hundred thousand Bangladeshis to migrate within their country, but globally there will be little international migration due to climate change. This assessment is made by Valerie Mueller of Arizona State University. She says, “The research suggests that we are unlikely to see massive global migration movements, except among areas already experiencing conflict. It seems that, in the case of Syria and elsewhere, climate change may be a risk multiplier for conflict-prone migration…. People that move in response to a climatic event typically move short distances….. many climatic events, such as soil salinity from sea level rise, floods, landslides, hurricanes, heat stress, etc. are highly localized…. Often, migration in response to climate change is a method of last resort among those who lack alternative options to cope with a disaster. For example, in our study in Bangladesh, we find that some households diversify into aquaculture, in response to the rise in soil salinity from sea level rise and other human-induced causes, while others migrate.”

Source: interview here.

Recent Mexican immigrants more likely to be college educated

Friday, July 12th, 2019

The share of Mexican immigrants with a college degree has increased in Texas. There are 145,000 persons from Mexico in Texas with a college degree. 45% of them are naturalized citizens. That’s 8% of the Mexican born population of the state, or 2.2 million.

Today almost one in five recent (since 2013) Mexican immigrants living in the state has a college degree versus 7% in 2000. This mirrors a nationwide trend that is increasing the level of educational attainment among recent Mexican and other immigrants. Temporary visa holders (ie business related) from Mexico are about 55% college educated.

Mexicans in Texas with a college degree tend to work in primary and secondary education and in construction.

There appear to be several factors driving these trends. First, educational attainment in Mexico has increased significantly. Another likely factor is rising violence in Mexico which reached historically high rates in 2017. This may be driving Mexican professionals to move to United States mostly living in border city such as McAllen and El Paso as well as nearby cities such as San Antonio

Finally many Mexican companies have made major investments in the US presence in the past decade, bringing senior executives and key personnel with them. Texas has led the way as a major destination in America for Mexican business investment.

However, 40% of Mexicans in the United States with a college degree have low English proficiency. This contrasts with the roughly 10% of college educated immigrants from other countries with low English proficiency.

From here.

“They are not from Norway, let’s put it that way”

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Adding “and they are very visible”, this is what a Minnesotan said commenting on refugee settlement in the state, especially St. Cloud, the Minnesota’s 10th-largest city, said in a conversation about an influx of Somali refugees. The city increased in population by 33% over the last 30 years, thoroughly 70,000 people. The share of nonwhite residents grew to 18% from 2%, mostly with East African immigrants from Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, and the numbers of Somalis are estimated to grow.

Only 6% of Minnesota Republicans (vs. 66 % of Democrats) want the state to increase its intake of refugees from then (2018) current level of about 1,000, and 47% (vs 7% of Democrats) want a temporary suspension of refugee intake.

50% of poll respondents in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional district (NE part of the state) in 2018 answered “yes” to this question: “Has discrimination against whites become as big a problem as discrimination toward blacks and other minorities?

Our foreign-born population divided into four segments

Friday, July 5th, 2019

The foreign-born population in 2017 was 45.6 million, or about 13.8% of our total population. The pie chart below shows four segments: naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, persons in temporary protected status, and unauthorized..

A few observations: Asians with green cards are more likely to become citizens than persons from Mexico and Central America….the unauthorized population has declined in the past ten years (12.2 million in 2007, 10.5 million in 2017), gotten older (over 60% in U.S. for at least ten years)….5 million children born in the U.S. have at least one unauthorized parent, but births to unauthorized parents have declined sharply since a peak in 2006.


From various reports from Pew Research, including here

Numbers game at the Brownsville border

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

The Guardian reports from the southern side of the Gateway International Bridge separating Brownsville, Texas, from Matamoros, Mexico. “A mysterious set of documents known collectively as “La Lista” holds enormous power over hundreds of migrants stranded outside a tiny immigration office. On that list is a number assigned by Mexican authorities that determines if migrants pass through or stay behind, prosper or have journeyed in vain, or in the case of Martinez and his daughter Valeria, risk their lives trying to circumvent its order.

Nowadays at Matamoros, like at other main border crossings, an American official will call across the bridge and tell their Mexican counterparts how many migrants the Americans are willing to interview for asylum that day, and in what form – families, or single men or women – in a process known as metering. How the Americans choose that number is anyone’s guess, people say. The Mexican official in charge of the lists then calls out a person’s number. For those chosen, it’s like winning a lottery. But the reasoning behind the Mexican process is even more of an enigma.

In the past several weeks, as more and more migrants arrive, the number of people called has dwindled to just four or five a week – coinciding with Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs if Mexico did not control the surge of migrants. On Friday, since Sunday, there had been zero people called. For those camped out, waiting to enter the country legally, some for as long as four months, the numbers and how they are chosen has become a kind of obsession, as if a divine hand is orchestrating this random and maddening system.

“People here, we talk about one thing,” says Guevara. “Our numbers and if we’re going to cross.”

Who voted in 2018?

Friday, June 14th, 2019

The mid-term 2018 voter population was more educated and racially diverse than those of earlier midterms. See the tables below.

Census Bureau’s estimates show that the 2018 turnout—at 53.4 percent—was the highest in midterm elections since it started collecting voter turnout numbers (voters per 100 citizens) in 1978; and for the first time since 1982, it rose above 50 percent.

All major racial/ethnic groups turned up at the polls in higher numbers, but the biggest gains accrued to Democratic-leaning Hispanics and Asian Americans—up 13 percent since 2014.

the CPS turnout data reveal that 18 to 29-year-olds of each major racial group showed substantially higher turnout in 2018 than four years prior—more than doubling for young Hispanics and Asian Americans and nearly doubling for young white citizens.

It was also younger. Turnout rates among groups are becoming more equal (see table).

Due to the higher turnout of 18 to 29-year-olds and 30 to 44-year-olds, the under-age 45 population rose to 35.4 percent of voters in 2018, up from just 30.3 percent in 2014. Most notably, those ages 65 and above made up a slightly smaller share of voters, 27.1 percent in 2018, despite the continued entry of the large baby boom generation into this age group.

From here.

poorly educated workers sort into different jobs by origin

Friday, June 7th, 2019

If  you are concerned about demographic isolation and low mobility of low wage immigrants, look here. Among those in the American workforce with low formal education, you find that immigrant and native-born workers are sorted into different jobs. On the whole, immigrants without a high school degree fill jobs that are relatively (1) not customer facing, hence do not demand high English proficiency and American cultural know-how, and (2) more dangerous. I suspect also lower mobility potential.

I looked at 20 jobs that do not require a high school degree, totalling 31 million jobs (2014 data). Five were jobs requiring a lot of communication and imposed little or no injury risk, such bar tending, waitress and cashier. 15% of these jobs were filled by immigrants. Compare that with 15 jobs requiring limited communication and generally higher injury risk, such as construction laborers, cooks, and inventory workers. Immigrants filled 30% of these jobs. Nationwide, 17% of jobs are filled by immigrants.

One job does not fit in: personal aide jobs have high communication demands, but 24% are filled by immigrants. A large percentage of immigrant direct care workers emigrate from two English speaking areas: the Philippines and Jamaica (go here).

A poorly educated immigrant worker tends to take a job which has double the injury risk of that of poorly educated native born worker.