This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, May 26, 2014

Immigration Stories: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The New York Times has a nice summary of recently released US Census Bureau estimates of the age structure in this country. In contrast to Japan, which is generally hostile to immigrants and is thus depopulating, as I recently discussed, the US is a nation of immigrants and it is not depopulating. 
From 1947 through 2010, the largest single age group in the United States was born sometime in the 18 years after the end of World War II. In 1947, that was zero years old — babies who had not yet celebrated their first birthday. In 2010, it was 50-year-olds.
But the Census Bureau now estimates that the biggest such group last year was 22-year-olds. The largest of the baby boom contingents, people who were 53 last year, had fallen to fourth place. The second- and third-ranked age levels were 23- and 21-year-olds.
Over all, there are now more people in their 20s than in any other 10-year group. In 2010, those in their 40s were the largest group.
The bad immigration news comes from Europe, where, as the NY Times reports:
Members of the European political elite expressed alarm on Monday over the strong showing in European Parliament elections by nationalist and anti-immigrant parties skeptical about European integration, a development described by the French prime minister as an “earthquake.”
It is not yet clear what this might mean in terms of future EU policies with respect to immigration, but it's more likely to be bad than good.

The ugly news comes also comes from the NY Times, but this time from day 9 of Damien Cave's trip up I-35 to explore the path of immigrants north from the US-Mexico border in Texas. The whole story is about tattoo shops. Enough said.

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