Immigration Will Drive Growth Of Working-Age Population

March 9, 2017

As Baby Boomers head into retirement, the U.S. workforce is expected to look a little different in the coming decades.

Pew Research found that the number of adults in the prime working ages of 25 to 64 will rise to 183 million in 2035, up from 173 million in 2015. The share of U.S.-born adults with U.S.-born parents will decline, however, from 128 million to 120 million.

Immigration will make up the difference. The number of U.S.-born adults with an immigrant parent will rise to 25 million in 2035, from 11 million in 2015. The number of working-age immigrants will rise to 39 million from 34 million during that same time frame.

Altogether, in 2035, 66 percent of working-age adults with be born in the U.S. with U.S.-born parents, 13 percent will be U.S. born with immigrant parents, and 21 percent will be foreign-born. In 2015, that split was 74 percent, 6 percent, and 20 percent, respectively.

Without future immigration, the population of working-age adults would decline to 166 million by 2035.

The decrease in working-age adults born in the U.S. whose parents also were born in the U.S. largely reflects the aging of the Baby Boom generation, born from 1946 to 1964. The youngest Boomers turn 65 by 2030. ... Birth rates, which have stayed relatively low since the 1970s, also play a role.

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