US immigrant population decline highest in 20 yrs: Study

Washington, Oct 17
Immigrant population in the US has witnessed a sharp decline by 2.6 per cent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the highest in the last 20 years, according to a study.

The study conducted by the University of California Merced Community and Labor Centre and released on Friday made the conclusion based on an analysis of the US Census Bureau data, which has monthly population survey of 60,000 American households, Xinhua news agency reported.

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The figures include naturalized citizens and non-citizens, including those living in the country both legally and illegally.

"The decline in the US immigrant population in 2020 (-2.6 per cent) is unprecedented in recent decades, even surpassing that during the Great Recession of 2008-2009 (-1.6 per cent)," the study said.

California's immigrant population of 10.3 million in 2019 fell by 642,200, or 6.2 per cent, during the first five months of the pandemic, from March to July, said the analysis.

It added that many immigrants in the Golden State chose to return to their home countries or go to other US states since the local economy is suffering a lot from the pandemic.

"While some immigrants form the backbone of the workforce in essential industries such as agriculture or meatpacking, others have been displaced by the economic slowdown in service sector industries." the study said.

"Several of California's industries had been hit particularly hard, such as the arts and entertainment, recreation, hotel and accommodations, and food services industries, where more than four in 10 jobs were lost."

The research warned that states with a greater loss of immigrants and the working-age population will face greater challenges in filling jobs necessary to stimulate an economic recovery in future.

As of Saturday morning, the country's total number of cases stood at 8,045,090 and the fatalities increased to 218,529, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The two tallies account for the world's highest, making the US the worst-hit country.