From Northeastern University
The second great in-migration
New report reveals Massachusetts and New York most dependent on new foreign immigrants for labor in the 90s
BOSTON, Mass. -- While many remember the great immigration of the late 1800s and early 1900s as the largest wave of people and culture to flow into the U.S., a new study by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University reveals that the Northeast region in particular has seen yet another phenomenal deluge of in-migration in the past decade alone, with New York and Massachusetts as the first and second ranked states for dependence on immigrants for its labor force.
"Foreign immigration in the U.S. during recent years played a powerful role in driving growth in the nation's population and labor force," said economist Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies and main author of the report. "The demographic and labor market impacts of immigration over the ten years between 1990 and 2000 was greater than at any time since the very earliest decades of the 20th century. The impact of this immigration, however, has varied markedly across the nation by region and state during the past decade."
By the year 2000, the foreign-born population of the U.S. accounted for 12.4 percent of the nation's population, the highest ratio since 1920. In Massachusetts, however, the foreign-born share of the resident population was nearly 15 percent, the seventh highest in the country, exceeding Arizona but behind California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Nevada and Texas.
Four other Northeast states -- including Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island -- also ranked in the top ten on this demographic measure. New foreign immigrants accounted for all -- 107 percent -- of the net growth in the Bay State's resident population between 1990 and 2000, the fourth highest in the country behind New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. All of the labor force growth in Massachusetts over the 1990s was attributable to foreign immigration. The state ranked second highest on this measure exceeded only by New York.
"These findings provide the most striking evidence to date of the extraordinary effects of foreign immigration on the growth and demographic composition of the population and labor force in Massachusetts and other large states in the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut," Sum said. "No other region in the country has been so heavily impacted by the influx of foreign immigration in the 1990s, and the economic and social consequences of these immigration flows in our region need to be carefully assessed."
Data for the report was derived from the 2000 Census Supplemental Survey, the 2000 Census of Population and Housing and the March 2000/March 2001 CPS surveys. Sum's newest study follows a study released in February 2001 by the Center for Labor Market Studies that analyzed the impact of foreign immigration on the resident population of the United States and its implications for demographic, immigration and labor market analysis and policymaking.
For a copy of the full report on immigration, please call 617-373-5455 or download it from the Web (PDF): http://www.nupr.neu.edu/news.html
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