The world is facing many complex population and migration dynamics over the next 50 years. The current world population is estimated to be growing by 1.2% annually, reaching over nine billion by 2050, according to the United Nations. The planet will soon experience the largest generation of youth in human history. Yet in some parts of the world, population growth rates are declining, with some countries experiencing negative growth rates.Zero population growth is not good for us. Many societies are ageing, and in some nations the increasing proportion of elderly in the population is placing pressure on existing public sector pension systems and social welfare programs. These dynamics pose challenges for governments. International migration may help to mitigate the effects of population aging in some countries, but cannot completely compensate for it.
We should not endorse population “stabilization” or “control.” The “ideal” family size should be determined by the desires of couples, not governments. All decisions on the number, spacing, and timing of children should be made without coercion.
There are more than 175 million migrants in the world today. People leave their countries for many reasons, including war and civil conflict, the desire for economic improvement, family reunification and environmental degradation.
The United States supports safe, orderly and legal migration. Our policy on international migration should focus on the human rights of migrants, protection for asylum-seekers, opposition to uncontrolled and illegal migration, support for anti-trafficking efforts, and encouragement of the rapid integration of legal immigrants.