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Immigration Statistics for the Twenty-First Century

Author(s): Massey, Douglas S.

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Abstract: Of the three main contributors to population growth—fertility, mortality, and net migration—the latter is by far the most difficult to capture statistically. This article discusses the main sources of federal statistical data on immigration, each with its own characteristic set of strengths, weaknesses, possibilities, and limitations in the context of the interested social scientist. Among the key limitations, the article argues, are the elimination of parental birthplace from the Census and the lack of complete data concerning the legal statuses of the U.S. population. This article will conclude with suggestions on remedying such deficiencies, at relatively low marginal cost, such as the inclusion of questions on parental birthplace, instituting a regular survey of randomly selected legal immigrants, and the use of the “two-card method” in statistical data.
Publication Date: Sep-2010
Electronic Publication Date: 9-Aug-2010
Citation: Massey, Douglas S. (2010). Immigration Statistics for the Twenty-First Century. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 631 (1), 124 - 140. doi:10.1177/0002716210373329
DOI: doi:10.1177/0002716210373329
ISSN: 0002-7162
EISSN: 1552-3349
Pages: 124 - 140
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Version: Author's manuscript

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