Immigration to Drive All US Population Growth Within Two Decades

(Bloomberg) — US population growth will be driven entirely by immigration within two decades, according to the latest forecasts by the Congressional Budget Office. 

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The projections, published on Tuesday, show a population of 373 million by 2053 — about 3 million more than the CBO was expecting a year ago. That’s partly due to a sharp increase in the forecast for immigration in 2023 and the following two years, after pandemic travel restrictions eased — adding some 1 million to the population over that period.

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Demographic Outlook | US population growth estimated to be driven by net immigration

At a time when many analysts have focused on demographics as a potential drag on the US economy, the higher forecast offers some encouragement. Much of the growth is projected to come in the so-called prime-age bracket, between 25 and 54, that is the core of the workforce. The CBO expects that cohort to increase by about 1.1 million people, or 0.9%, each year.

Still, by 2042 deaths in the existing population are expected to exceed births, meaning only immigration will expand the population. 

The CBO’s population estimates are used for calculating Social Security payroll taxes and benefit increases.

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