Key Conclusion from Penn Wharton Research: U.S. Growth Requires Faster Immigration

Apr 16, 2024 | Finconomics 101, No Bull Economics

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According to Penn Wharton’s U.S. Demographic Projections, U.S. population growth is projected to decline as the population becomes much older over time. Preventing these outcomes will require faster immigration by several multiples of its current rate.

U.S. Demographic Projections: With and Without Immigration — Penn Wharton Budget Model (

Key Points from UPenn Wharton’s U.S. Demographic Projections

  • Recent declines in the total fertility rate (TFR) have pushed it below the population replacement level of 2.1% per woman & the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) microsimulation projects the TFR to remain below this level during the next few decades.
  • Persistently low fertility will make the balance of births minus deaths negative as outlined in the chart below.
  • A positive, albeit declining, population growth rate will be sustained, however, because of sustained positive net immigration.
  • In any case, the shift of baby-boomer workers into retirement portends a decline in the worker-to-retiree ratio from 3.0 today to 2.0 by 2075.
  • A faster annual immigration rate, equal to about 3.5x the current rate, would be required to restore the ratio over the long term.

Population Growth Graph

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