North America has more immigrants than any other countries around the globe. Immigrants is defined as anyone living in a country other than where they were born. Nearly 60 million immigrants live in the United States alone. Some of which came from places like Mexico over into the United States. It’s at the forefront of national debates and is driving political discourse. But what do we know about immigration’s effect on the actual economy?
The United States is often referred to as a “Nation of Immigrants.” With around 60 million immigrants, that’s about equal to the entire populations of Australia, Ecuador and Switzerland combined. Saudi Arabia, Germany and Russia follow the US; with about 12 million immigrants each. The US-Mexico border has become a focal point in the migration debate. Immigrants continue to make up a larger portion of US Society. This has increased since the 1970’s when foreign born residents made up less than 5% of the population.
What have economists known about the impact of migration? One report found that an extra one percent increase in a country’s migrant population adds on an extra 2% GDP per capita in the long term. This boost happens in two ways:
• It impacts productivity per worker because migrant skills often complement the existing population’s.
• It increases the percentage of working-age people in a country because migrants tend to fall within this age bracket. That helps pay for things like Social Security.
The IMF recently advised advanced economies like Japan, The U.S and U.K to open up their borders to avoid being overwhelmed by their aging populations.