Friday, May 03, 2019

Boomer Retirement and Immigration

Via Immigration Impact about retirement and declining birth rates in the United States:

It is in our economic best interest to ensure that our population continues to grow. Immigration alone will not address all the fiscal issues facing our social welfare programs and economy more broadly, but they play an important role in reducing the economic effects of our aging population. Baby boomers are increasingly dependent on them to help pay for their retirement and buy their homes as they retire.

From Irresistible Forces: Latin American Migration to the United States and its Effects on the South, the 2010 book I wrote with my dad:
Young immigrants, however, can help fill the demographic gap.  As Myers points out, immigration can alleviate other related economic strains like an insufficient labor force and too few young home buyers to satisfy the number of older sellers.  The demographic fit therefore offers part of the solution, since there is a ready pool of workers able and willing to contribute to the U.S. economy and pay into the Social Security system, providing the income stream for older retirees.
This is not new. It has been entirely foreseeable for many years. Simply put, we need immigrants.

Put a different way, roughly half the countries of the world have birth rates below replacement rate (below 2.1 births per woman) and at 1.8 the United States is one of them. Therefore it is inaccurate to say of the United States, or many other countries, that it is "full."  If you managed to stop immigration right now, the population would shrink. And if that happens, who is going to support retirees?

Actually, forget the Boomers and let's think about Generation X, my generation. Heck, we want to retire too. So we need immigration!


Anonymous,  3:11 PM  

nevermind the fact about the number of potential immigrants from the womb who never make it to the land of the free...but, of course, in academia, that's such third rail topic, isnt't it?

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