In the next two decades, U.S. immigrants will increasingly assimilate into American society, achieving higher levels of income and improving educational attainment, according to a recently released study undertaken by the University of Southern California and the Center for American Progress.
For the report, “Assimilation Tomorrow: Immigrant Integration by 2030,” researchers examined historical trends, analyzing data related to immigrants who arrived in the United States during the four decades since the 1970s. They used this analysis to project key 2030 statistics for the wave of immigrants who arrived during the 1990s, such as the rate of immigrant homeownership, which according to the report will reach 71.9 percent in 2030, compared to 25.5 percent in 2000.
Among other key findings, the report predicted 70.3 percent of immigrants will speak English well in 2030, 74 percent will have completed high school, about 31 percent will have a four-year college degree and 86.6 will be living out of poverty. The report showed the rate of naturalization will skyrocket, going from 13.2 percent in 2000 to 70.6 percent.
Given the sizable population of Hispanic immigrants in the United States, the report also broke down statistics specifically for this demographic. Predicted rates of Hispanic integration and achievement mirrored those of the immigrant population at large, with homeownership projected to go from 20.9 percent in 2000 to 66.7 percent in 2030, and naturalization increasing from 7.9 percent in 2000 to 57.2 percent in 2030.
The researchers noted that they attempted to factor in the effects of the recent economic downturn in their predictions, but their numbers did assume a full economic recovery. They also noted the salutary impact that immigrants are poised to have on the economy, given their increasing educational attainment and income. The authors stated that the report provides support for immigration reform that includes a clear path to citizenship.
Another recent Center for American Progress report pointed out how harsh restrictions on immigrant labor can hurt the economy. CAP reported that Georgia’s strict immigration law, H.B. 87, will likely cause an agricultural labor shortage that could cost the state $300 million to $1 billion for the 2011 growing season.