Hispanics, immigrants and the growth of the US population: 1850 - 2007

Richard R. Verdugo, National Education Association

The United States is a country of immigrants. In recent years, the largest immigrant population residing in the US has its origins in a Latin American country. As a result of several historical events beginning in the middle of the 20th Century the growth of the Hispanic and Hispanic immigrant population has been dramatic, and raises an important question, “What has been the impact of the Hispanic population growth on the growth of the US population?” Using data from the 1850 to 2000 Decennial Census and the 2007 American Community Survey, I attempt to answer such a question. Three main findings are generated from my study. First, the Hispanic population has had a significant effect on the growth of the US population from about the middle of the 20th Century to 2007. Second, Hispanic immigrants have also had a major role in the growth of the US population, particularly Mexican immigrants. Finally, Mexicans, whether immigrants or native-born, have had the largest impact on US population growth. While these are my main findings and conclusions, there is one last conclusion: additional research is needed, particularly research that focuses on the “new settlement” patterns of the Hispanic population.

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Presented in Session 94: Migration statistics and the impact of migration