US flags near the Capitol
The U.S. Census Bureau released new population projections AFP

Hispanics are set to continue increasing their share of the U.S. population during this century, according to a new projection by the U.S. Census Bureau. The demographic, which currently represents 19.1 percent of the population, is set to increase to 26.9% by 2060 in the most probable scenario calculated by the entity, which also projected what the population would look like based on immigration variation. Concretely, it would be "27.8% in a high-immigration scenario, 26.2% in a low-immigration scenario, and to 24.6% in a zero-immigration scenario."

Overall, the U.S. population would drop by over 100 million people by the end of the century if immigration were to be cut off from the country, according the Census Bureau.

The figure, which the entity claims to be largely illustrative, shows that population declines in this scenario would begin next year. By the end of the century there would be 226 million people living in the country, compared to the current 335 million.

All scenarios consider that immigration will be the largest contributor to population growth, according to the Census Bureau. "In an ever-changing world, understanding population dynamics is crucial for shaping policies and planning resources," stated Sandra Johnson, a demographer at the entity, which also took into account assumptions about future births and deaths.

"The U.S. has experienced notable shifts in the components of population change over the last five years," she explained. "Some of these, like the increases in mortality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to be short-term while others, including the declines in fertility that have persisted for decades, are likely to continue into the future."

Variations in migration rates will largely determine the projected U.S. population during the next decades. The most likely outcome, the organization said, will be an almost 10 percent growth (9.7 percent) to 366 million by the end of the century. However, the boost will have run out by then, as the expected peak would take place in 2080 with 370 million people in the country.

The high-immigration scenario is the only one which would see the trend continue upwards by 2100. It projects the population would grow to 435 million by then, assuming that "net international migration is higher than natural increase (the difference between births and deaths) in all years of the time series."

A major reason for these projections is the continued decline in fertility in the country. The most likely outcome considered by the Bureau has calculated that the population over 65 aged 65 or older will surpass the children under 18 by 2029. By the end of the century, the former group will comprise 29.1 percent of the population, while the latter will be 16.4 percent of the country. This scenario also projects that the median age in 2100 will be almost 48 years, when it currently is 38.9.

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