With the exception of the U.S., all other major global economies face a daunting demographic future. By 2050, the working-age populations of China, Russia, Germany, and Japan are predicted to decline by 20 percent, 20 percent, 17 percent, and 29 percent, respectively. In contrast, the working-age population of the U.S. is predicted to increase by 12 percent. The only other large advanced countries that will increase its working-age populations are Australia, Canada, and the U.K. The predicted increase in our working-age population is primarily due to the U.S. still being a magnet for immigrants.
A growing working population gives the U.S. an enormous comparative advantage over the other major global economies. A growing population of younger people is essential to a vibrant economy. Most Nobel Prize winners and company founders established their claims when they were young. Overall, statistical data show that immigrants and their children are more beneficial to our economy and society than our native-born. Astonishingly, 219 of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants and their children! Furthermore, immigrants and their U.S.-born children are significantly less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans, and this is especially true for illegal immigrants for whom any arrest could lead to deportation.
Trump’s recent comment that the U.S. is too “full” to accommodate more immigrants is ridiculous and beneath contempt. Only about 3 percent of U.S. land is urbanized and even then are three to four times less densely populated than those of the E.U. or China. Because of increasing urbanization and the declining birthrate of the native-born population, from 2007 to 2017 the working-age population declined in 80 percent of U.S. counties, with a combined population of 140 million, resulting in underpopulated cities and towns, vacant housing, widespread poverty, and troubled public financing.
We should welcome refugees and immigrants into our country. We need them and they need us. They will revitalize our country as they pursue the American Dream.