From Virginia Beach to Charlottesville to Fairfax County, immigrants helped grow the economies of dozens of Virginia localities and cut population loss by at least 10%, according to a new analysis by Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trust.
This comes on the heels of American population growth hitting an 80-year low in 2018, according to the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization. Among the reasons cited for the decline are that young adult millennials are postponing or foregoing having children, deaths are rising among the nation’s aging population, and the country’s under-18 population has declined since the 2010 census.
As this shift occurs, more and more localities across the country are looking to immigrants to combat the decline by filling necessary jobs. The Stateline report highlights that in 1 of 5 U.S. counties, immigrants “prevented or significantly softened population loss,” and “many cities and small towns across the United States desperately want more immigrants to fill jobs and keep their populations from shrinking.”
While many cities and towns want more immigration workers, the Trump administration has cracked down on illegal immigration and reduced the number of refugees coming to the United States, making it harder for localities to fill jobs and prevent population decline.
In Virginia, immigrants prevented population decline altogether in Hopewell, Virginia Beach, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, Alexandria, Lancaster County and Fairfax County.
Immigraiton also curbed population loss by at least 10% in a number of localities, including Newport News, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Salem, and Mecklenburg, Essex and Washington Counties.