Immigration Reform Would Alleviate America’s Aging Crisis, New Research Briefs Show

CONTACT:
Sarah Doolin, sarah@renewoureconomy.org

New York, NY—To mark Senior Citizens Day, which honors the elderly and their role in American life, the New American Economy (NAE) released four research briefs that examine the role immigrants play in alleviating the country’s current aging crisis. Baby Boomers are growing old, and the demand for healthcare professionals is rapidly outpacing supply. At the same time, as seniors retire and the labor force shrinks, entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security are increasingly strained. The research briefs show how immigration reform can help mitigate America’s aging crisis and ensure that millions of Americans will have health coverage in their golden years.

“Some critics of immigration reform argue that immigrants are a drain on our entitlement programs, but our research shows just the opposite,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of New American Economy. “Immigrants have helped our economy grow, and their paycheck deductions subsidize government healthcare coverage for America’s elderly.”

“America’s Aging Crisis” looks at:

How Immigration Reform Can Strengthen the U.S. Healthcare System

  • As Americans age, demand for healthcare workers will rapidly outpace supply: By 2020, more than 1.3 million additional direct care workers will be needed.

  • Immigrants make up approximately 25 percent of workers in direct healthcare jobs and are almost twice as likely as native-born Americans to work in this sector.

How Immigration Reform Can Strengthen the Coverage for U.S. Seniors

  • The number of Medicare beneficiaries is projected to increase from 50.7 million in 2012 to 81 million in 2030.

  • Over the past two decades, immigrants have contributed $182.4 billion to Medicare, in contrast to the $68.7-billion deficit generated by the U.S.-born population.

How Immigration Reform can Strengthen the U.S. Housing Market

  • As the American senior population increases, the country will face long-term homebuyer shortages and falling home values.

  • Immigrants have already contributed approximately $3.7 trillion to national housing wealth, and if the United States welcomed an additional 100,000 immigrants annually, housing values would increase by an estimated $80 billion each year.

How Immigration Can Strengthen the U.S. Workforce

  • As Baby Boomers retire, the workforce will shrink considerably; by 2040, the ratio of seniors to workers is projected to increase by over 70 percent. In particular, the United States is facing an undersupply of lesser-skilled workers.

  • Immigration reform will bring young workers into the country and help to fill the growing demand for lesser-skilled workers.

The research briefs released today are part of NAE’s broader healthcare campaign, Staying Covered: Immigrant Contributions to the United States Healthcare System.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…