Immigration in the Election, Population Growth Slowing, U.K. Fights a Second Wave


  • The Consequences Of Closed Borders
  • Sustaining Population…Naturally
  • Britain Is Losing The Battle of COVID

Editor’s Note: Ryan offers the fifth in a series of pieces that examine key economic issues surrounding the 2020 U.S. election.

Eleven years ago, I had the pleasure of witnessing my wife’s naturalization ceremony. The presiding judge opened with a memorable comment: “Swearing in new citizens is the only time everyone leaves the courtroom happy.” Everyone present nodded. Afterwards, we shared a nice celebration.

The immigrant experience is a long journey, and those who reach naturalization have reason for excitement. But the future of immigration is uncertain, and the United States’ openness to newcomers is the subject of much debate on this year’s campaign trail.

Immigration is a part of the American identity. Outside of those with Native American heritage, nearly all Americans have at least a passing awareness of their international ancestry. Immigrant influences are evident in the wide variety of surnames, cuisines and traditions observed around the country. About 14% of current U.S. residents were born somewhere else.

Weekly Economic Commentary - 10/23/20 - Chart 1

Immigration is economically important, too. Adding to the population, especially with younger arrivals, increases the potential output of the economy. Ambitious immigrants will find opportunity in the United States, the country that leads the world in attracting educated immigrants who file patents and launch new businesses at a higher rate than natural born citizens. These innovations help increase productivity, which also adds to economic growth.