DAILYKENN.com -- The population of the United States would more than triple if its borders were open.
Ironically, that massive influx would change the character of our nation. It would become a third-world country and lose its value and subsequent attraction.
A recent study revealed over 158 million adults wanted to come to the USA. Past experience has taught us that chain migration adds 3.45 migrants for each new arrival. That adds 545.1 million migrants to the 158 million, or 703.1 million.
The current population is about 327.2 million. Add 703.1 million and the population would swell to 1.03 billion.
From cis.org ▼
By applying those proportions to the 158 million adults who want to move to the United States, we can estimate the total number of potential migrants by region. For example, in this scenario we estimate that 23 million of those 158 million people would come from Latin America.
However, with regard to children, different parts of the world have different family sizes and different total fertility rates (i.e., the number of children likely to be born to a woman from that country over the course of her child-bearing years at current birth rates). Women in Sub-Saharan Africa have an average fertility rate of 4.7, whereas in East Asia that figure is just 1.6. Scenario 1 uses regional fertility rates to estimate the ratio of children to adults for each adult migrant coming to the United States.
This is an imperfect measure because it is likely that fertility rates will decline once a migrant moves to the United States. Nonetheless, our analysis includes a mix of potential future parents as well as current parents and the fertility rate remains a more precise variable than family size, which in many regions does not easily account for the proportion of dual vs. single parent homes.
Under this scenario, we estimate that 158 million adults moving to the United States would bring 227.6 million children with them, for a total migration wave of 385.6 million people.
Scenario 2: Chain Migration Multiplier
Rather than attempt to guess what the regional flows of these 158 million adults could look like, we can also consult existing academic studies for the family behavior of migrants already in the United States.
According to the most complete recent studies on chain migration, in recent years each new immigrant sponsored an average of 3.45 additional immigrants. In the 1980s, that multiplier was 2.59, or more than 30 percent lower.
In a hypothetical scenario where 158 million adults move to the United States in a short period of time, it's quite likely that the multiplier would rise even more, given that people are more likely to immigrate if they know someone else who has immigrated, and given that the multiplier has risen over time.
On the other hand, there is obviously some degree of family overlap among the 158 million adults — such as two brothers who would both come to the United States, or a husband and a wife.
Given these confounding variables in both directions, it seems most fair to simply apply the existing 3.45 multiplier to the 158 million people. Doing so would lead to an additional 545.1 million migrants, for a total migration of 703.1 million people.
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