U.S. Immigration in the Rear View Mirror

John Pitkin, Analysis and Forecasting, Inc.

Due to the poor quality of available statistics on immigration to the United States since at least 1990, estimates of the net immigration component of annual population change during the 1990s are inconsistent with those estimates made for later years which reflect the higher than anticipated levels of immigration found in the 2000 census. This paper exploits census and American Community Survey data on year of entry of the foreign-born population and the emigration rates estimates by Van Hook et. al. (2006) to estimate annual net immigration flows from 1970 to 2002 through a reverse projection method. The resulting estimates are consistent with 2000 census and later population counts. The quality and consistency of data on year of entry are assessed and adjustments are implemented to compensate for apparent bias in the responses.

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Presented in Session 90: Case Studies in Applied Demography