By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) - Here's something to consider as Congress debates overhauling America's immigration system: For the first time since at least 1850, immigrants will be the primary driver of U.S. population.
Births have been the leading cause of population growth since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data in 1850. That may change within the next 14 years.
The population growth shifts could happen as early as 2027 or as late as 2038, depending, of course, on the numbers of international arrivals over the next few years.
Not that immigration levels are at their highest, cautioned Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's senior adviser. The rates were much higher during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
But Americans are having fewer babies.
"This projected milestone reflects the mix of our nation's declining fertility rates, the aging of the baby boomer population and continued immigration," Mesenbourg said.
The Census Bureau issued three projections of population growth shifts based on different immigration levels. A high immigration projection showed that the nation's non-white population would jump from 37% in 2012 to 58.8% in 2060. Hispanics would make up 29.9% of the population, compared with 17% in 2012, and Asians would climb from 5.1% to 9%.
Non-Latino whites are projected to no longer be a majority by 2046, even if immigration levels stay the same.
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(CNN) – Tucked in the Senate bipartisan plan on immigration reform are key requirements for prospective immigrants. Among them, a knowledge of English, civics and history of the United States. Assimilation is clearly an underlying issue in the debate.
A new study shows that second-generation Americans have enjoyed success in becoming a part of America.
Roughly 6 in 10 said they consider themselves to be a "typical American," though they maintain ties to their ancestral roots. That's almost double the number of immigrants who identify that way, according to a new Pew Research Center study released Thursday.
Like Jose Martinez, 29, a son of Dominicans who owns his own graphic design company in New Jersey.
"It's important to try and hold on to your roots, stay Latino," he said. "But you have to be American at the same time." FULL POST
(CNN) – 315,091,138.
That's what the Census Bureau projects will be the population of the United States on New Year's Day. The number of people increased by 2,272,462 or 0.73% since the last time a population snapshot was taken – April 1, 2010.
In January, America can expect one birth every eight seconds and one death every 12 seconds.
America's population is growing at a slower pace than was previously projected, the Census Bureau said. One reason is lower birth rates starting in 2008, when the economy soured. Lower immigration numbers have also affected the population.
The U.S. population is now projected to be around 399.8 million by 2050, far short of the 439 million that was projected four years ago.
"When we add up the numbers, 24.4 million fewer migrants plus 17.8 million fewer births minus 4.6 million fewer deaths plus 1.6 million difference in the estimates of the population for the population in 2011, we arrive at the total difference of 39.2 million," the Census Bureau said.
That's a whole lotta numbers. But we get the picture. We won't be catching up with China anytime soon.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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