One of the Trump administration’s biggest arguments against illegal immigration is the conviction that there is simply no room left for more people. Many will debate what the right amount of international immigration is, but new census data suggests there is much more room than many think. The influx of international immigrants is keeping population growth on a steady upward trend in much of the country. Even though birthrates are down and death rates have climbed, half the population growth here can be attributed to immigration.
The very large and very small
Those communities with the biggest population drops negated by immigration are the largest metro areas and smallest ones. The three largest metro areas (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) saw domestic migration from these areas as people look for less expensive places to live. The rural areas got the support it needed to fill agricultural and blue-collar manufacturing jobs that are most common.
Those that grew
The biggest areas of growth fueled by domestic migration were mid-sized cities and college towns where services were sufficient but the cost of living was not as high. There was also great news for rural areas, which saw growth for the second year in a row.
Rural areas are particularly vulnerable
The cost of big cities has gotten prohibitive to some. However, businesses are still often located there and there are other reasons for less concern. More uncertain is less populated areas where destructive economic spirals are created – fewer people means fewer taxpayers, which means fewer jobs and fewer services, which means more people leave.
Migrants an essential part of the economy
The United States needs migration to sustain the economic growth it enjoys. Migrants need not feel guilty for taking jobs, using government services or filling our classrooms. This country was built on immigration, which appears to still be the case regardless of what others may say.