Economists broadly agree that population growth fuels economic growth in wealthy countries, and lately you may have seen headlines about declining birth rates and census figures showing the lowest growth rate since the 1930s. Some young Americans have opted to not have children, or cannot, and some simply do not want to. So where are we to look for a solution? There is an answer to addressing the growth problem we are experiencing in the U.S. and it lies in legal immigration.
First, let’s examine the options. There are two main ways that the US could increase overall population growth: by encouraging people to have more children or by increasing immigration levels.
Having more children
Typically, citizens are not fans of its government telling them to have more or less children. It’s a complex issue and in America, people believe in deciding their life plans, including if they want children. Another element to the population growth problem is that the current policies in place do not support families. Paid maternal and paternal leave is the lowest among the developed nations throughout the world. This leaves many young Americans deciding between work and family.
That leaves immigration, which has historically insulated the US from population decline and represents a kind of tap that the US can turn on and off. Over the next decade, it is set to become the primary driver of population growth for the first time in US history. With a surge in demand for a variety of visas, such as E-2 visas, immigrants are coming to America with their families to set up their futures in this country.
The impacts of stagnant population growth
Some people are indifferent to the news, but economists stress the importance of population growth and the areas that it impacts in local communities, such as smaller tax bases and aging populations.
In fact, the impacts are already showing. Shrinking tax bases in rural areas have made it harder for government budgets to support essential services, such as infrastructure and public schools, and will likely continue to suffer from dwindling budgets and further cuts.
For the aging population, a unique problem exists–one in five US citizens will be at the retirement age by 2030. Slow population growth puts a strain on the younger generations that will support the retirement segment, and there is a widening gap in the number of working-age adults that are able to support an aging population of baby boomers.
To solve this problem effectively, we need to support immigration and welcome diversity. The average age of newly arriving immigrants is 31, which is more than seven years younger than the current median American, meaning that they could help replace an aging workforce. They are also more entrepreneurial, which encourages economic dynamism, and more likely to work in essential industries, such as health care, transportation, construction, agriculture, and food processing. Long story short, America needs immigrants.
If you are a business looking to sponsor immigrants to come to the U.S., or a foreign investor searching for an investment visa, contact our team at Loigica today for a free consultation.