The number of migrants coming to the United States each year, legally and illegally, grew very rapidly starting in the mid-1990s, hit a peak at the end of the decade, and then declined substantially after 2001.
Jeffrey Passel is a Senior Demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center. He is a nationally known expert on immigration to the United States and the demography of racial and ethnic groups. Passel formerly served as principal research associate at the Urban Institute's Labor, Human Services and Population Center. Passel has authored numerous studies on immigrant populations in America, focusing on such topics as undocumented immigration, the economic and fiscal impact of the foreign born, and the impact of welfare reform on immigrant populations.
Hispanics accounted for half of the population growth in the United States between the elections of 2000 and 2004 but only one-tenth of the increase in the total votes cast.
Most of the unauthorized population lives in families, a quarter has at least some college education and illegal workers can be found in many sectors of the US economy.
The undocumented population of the US now numbers nearly 11 million people, including more than 6 million Mexicans according to new estimates based on the most recent official data available.
Latinos have distinct demographic and economic characteristics that give them a unique stake in the debate over the future of Social Security.
As it continues to grow, the composition of the Hispanic population is undergoing a fundamental change: Births in the United States are outpacing immigration as the key source of growth. Over the next twenty years this will produce an important shift in the makeup of the Hispanic population with second-generation Latinos–the U.S.-born children of immigrants– emerging as the largest component of that population. Given the very substantial differences in earnings, education, fluency in English, and attitudes between foreign-born and native-born Latinos, this shift has profound implications for many realms of public policy, and indeed for anyone seeking to understand the nature of demographic change in the United States.