Immigration flows are well below their postwar peaks

From Lyman Stone:

…the survey-based immigration method finds essentially no increase in immigration after the immigration reforms of the 1960s: indeed inflow rates may have declined. The implication here is that rising foreign-born population has its roots well before any changes to immigration law, and may be as much about declining outflows as it is about rising inflows.

Notably, both estimates give a similar 1940-Present estimate of average annual migration: 0.51% for the survey method, 0.57% for the category method. The category method is inflated by that bump around the 1950s, which was largely temporary, seasonal illegal immigration. Adjusted for that, it’s about 0.52%. In other words, both methods give similar long-run migration rates, at a long-run average level somewhat lower to the long-run average level in the previous migration period.

But the trend is different. The survey-based method suggests immigration rates peaked around 1970 and have fallen since. The category-based method suggests that immigration rates peaked in the 1990s, and have fallen since.

The longer piece covers a variety of other related topics, including stocks in addition to flows (longer lives and lower native fertility skew the stock), and the connection between immigration and pro-natalist policies.  Via Ross Douthat.


"Immigration flows are well below their postwar peaks"

The question should be do we "need" immigration. Until we can assimilate all the immigrants already here and get everyone a job we should stop all immigration.

"I have created a harmonized estimate from various surveys; as above, any curious experts reading are welcome to ask and I’ll provide underlying data."

Why should we have to ask? I trust the U.S. government more than I trust some nobody on the internet with a vague(various? How many?) and opaque methodology. Tyler would too, but this supports his pro-immigration priors, so caution is thrown to the wind.

"Why should we have to ask?"

As if he provided a link with all the data files for you to download to Excel you would know how to check the work.

"As if he provided a link with all the data files for you to download to Excel you would know how to check the work."

Um, yes, I would. Just because you're so stupid you have to accept everything on faith doesn't mean the rest of us are.

Then you would also know the actual analysis would be a lot more steps than the step of simply sending him an email and asking him for the data.

"you have to accept everything on faith"

There's no reason anyone here should accept your refutation of his analysis without actually doing any analysis. If you asked for the data and he was giving you the run around you'd have something haven't done anything.

I didn't "refute" his analysis, I simply stated that I do not believe it. I'm too busy to bother with refuting it, and the burden of proof lies on him to actually prove it by providing whatever data and whatever steps to analyze the data he uses.

But you're not too busy to read his proof? Hmmm.

I look forward to the inevitable retraction when this post is debunked -- most likely because the methodology's obvious flaws are not considered by the usual pro-immigration crowd. In the interim, maybe we can have another post pretending that increasing the supply of labor doesn't decrease wages (or restrain wage growth) ?

Overall thought -- the quality of thought on immigration-related thoughts in the US is stunningly low because debate is dominated by a class of people in love with virtue signalling. Someone needs to ping Sailer or Steven Miller...

"In the interim, maybe we can have another post pretending that increasing the supply of labor doesn’t decrease wages (or restrain wage growth)?"

Which is good because paying workers well, we are told by American economists, is bad for workers. The poorer they are, we are told, the richer they are.

Nobody has noticed but the bursting of the Housing Bubble a decade ago in the highly Hispanic Sand States of CA, AZ, NV, and FL was a massive failure for Mexicans and Central American immigrants. Establishment leaders like George W. Bush and Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide explicitly bet on the creditworthiness of Latino immigrants.

When that turned out to be a very bad bet, many Latin American immigrants went home after being foreclosed upon or losing their jobs as home construction workers or Spanish language mortgage brokers.

It's hard to get real time demographic data but I looked at for just CA....which is probably a good state to look at if you are consider a thesis that the housing bubble lowered the # of Hispanics. Of particular interests are births by Hispanic mothers which didn't seem to suffer any downturn since the housing bust.

Do you have evidence of this or are you relying on anecdotes?

"if you are consider a thesis that the housing bubble lowered the # of Hispanics"

You fail at reading comprehension.

Seeing lots of narratives here but not many actual statistics. Did a measurable portion of the Hispanic population 'go back' due to the housing bust or not?

The total fertility rate for Hispanics in the U.S. is way down since 2006-07.

Housing Bubble Era fertility statistics were like the opening scene of Idiocracy: the bourgeois married couple couldn't afford to have a child with the market the way it is, while Cletus the moron was running rampant with the single moms in his trailer park.

The way it works is that when Mexican women get to the U.S. they quickly have a lot of kids. Everything is so nice here. That's why there was a huge Hispanic baby boom in California for about 7 years following the 1986 amnesty, which allowed a lot of illegal men in California to import women.

But then the Mexican moms figure out after awhile that raising children in America is extremely expensive and that they shouldn't have had so many children so fast.

So if the number of new Mexican women arriving is low, as in, say, 2008-2013, then the Hispanic fertility rate goes down toward the replacement level.

But if there is an amnesty, excuse me, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, watch out!

No, the Housing Bubble increased the number of Mexicans in California and other states as illegal aliens poured in to build the expensive exurban houses that were conceived of as allowing homeowners to get their children away from school districts overwhelmed by the children of illegal aliens.

Someone elsewhere had suggested that those foreign born medical doctors should be replaced by locally born doctors. US has about 2.5 doctors per 1000 people. Without any program to increase the number, the medium term result will be to reduce that to 1.875 per K. Aha, he said, more local people can be trained to be doctors.

However, there is no free lunch. The US AMA stats showed that about a significantly large 25% of qualified US medical doctors are foreign born.

The minimum entry IQ for medical doctors in US is normally assumed to be 125. A simple estimation is to reduce the entry IQ to 125*0.75=93.75 but that is incorrect calculation. A better estimation is to use the bell curve mathematics to find the new lower IQ level from the new sub-population that can replace the excluded number of foreign born doctors.

I noticed that my previous procedure to estimate the Migrant Average Group IQ (MAGIQ) from various source countries to various host countries can slightly be modified to calculate in reverse of the Tentative Restructured Average Group IQ (TRAGIQ) for the host country various professional groups if the relevant data are available.

From that new pool excluding the foreign born candidates, to train the same number of medical doctors as before, the minimum entry IQ has to drop down to TRAGIQ=106.9 , just above the minimum entry IQ for home economics of 106, and below that for primary teachers of 108. The current US minimum entry IQ for nurses is 110.

I wasn't aware that any medical school in the US uses IQ as an entry test. Wouldn't the solution be increasing the number of medical schools or slots in existing medical schools?

US medical schools use MCAT scores. I havent seen any attempts to relate MCAT to IQ. To relate to global situation IQ score is more convienient.

Similar number in UK

% foreign born 35%

n UK doctors emigrated 17,000

if not emigrated, adjusted % foreign born 25.9%

The current reform proposal would favor the doctor types over the drywall installers and other albañiles-style laborers. Not such a great thing for those countries exporting their medical professionals, of course.

From various studies, it seems that the number of medical doctors per thousand population NMedPerK worldwide is independent of per capita GDP, mortality rate, national average IQ, etc. For example from WorldBank data,

Rank Country NMedPerK

1 Austria 5.16

8 Russia 3.96

14 Slovakia 3.54

27 Britain 2.81

28 Canada 2.7

29 USA 2.57

31 Mexico 2.35

35 Brazil 1.82

35 China 1.82

38 SouthAfrica 0.79

39 India 0.72

40 Indonesia 0.32

The low figures for India and SouthAfrica most probably due to the massive medical doctors emigrants from the countries. The richest medical doctor on the Forbes global billionaire list is an emigrant doctor with Chinese ancestry from SouthAfrica to USA. He got his USD$8.6 Billions from medical patents, he was worth $13B two years ago. Thus this SouthAfrican emigrant doctor with Chinese ancestry single handedly raises the average net worth of US medical doctors by $8600/.853=$10,082.

"""The nosediving stock is one reason that Soon-Shiong, according to Forbes, is now worth "only" $8.6 billion, and has been overtaken by Elon Musk as the richest Angeleno."""

Elon Musk, another emigrant from SouthAfrica with British/American/Dutch ancestry.

Anyway the NMedPerK numbers seem to be determined by the local medical associations. From a list of data from WorldBank for 40 countries, the pop number weighted average global NMedPerK is 1.76 and that is assumed to be the on average locally sustainable NMedPerK and it is quite close to the 1.875 US NMedPerK figure above. Therefore in general countries with NMedPerK greater than 1.76 will require immigrant medical doctors from other countries.

My paternal grandfather sired 9 children and my maternal grandmother birthed 8 children (17 fertile adults seeking mates). Each of those offspring had 2-3 children (34-51). Large families are less prevalent today due to societal norms and the sexual revolution. I doubt we will see a return to the fecundity of the 1950s. Many women work in hostile environments that frown on maternity leave, sick days, or flexibility. Each additional child requires significant resources, time and money. Each of these problems require government intervention to incentivize pro natal policies.

In the meantime, we are an aging population with an economy that is continually hungry. We need immigrants to drive that engine. Skilled workers who are better suited to assimilation are ideal. Unskilled immigrants still have potential but it may lie in their offspring. This latest backlash against immigrants is rooted in middle America. Until the mid 2000s small towns were mostly white in Kentucky and Tennessee. Then Mexican groceries, tacquerias, and non-Christian worship centers began to pop up. People took notice of how immigration was changing their towns. Resentment and disdain infected the populace. The levels of immigration are secondary to the fact that many people are afraid of change. Strong leadership and open dialogue is needed to make the case for why immigrants matter. Those pandering to our darker nature reveal the insincerity of this backlash.

"We need immigrants to drive that engine"

But maybe.... we don't. MAYBE the new economic challenge is figuring out how to make stable (or declining) populations economically viable.

"n the meantime, we are an aging population with an economy that is continually hungry. We need immigrants to drive that engine."

Most immigrants are unskilled. Automation is shredding demand for unskilled labor.

+1, the trend is toward automating low skilled labor. Importing low skilled labor is just a ridiculous idea. Sure it will keep the current pay for low skilled labor low, but then you'll just have a push for an unrealistic minimum wage.

Open Borders + $15 minimum wage is a tragically stupid combination of ideas.

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