Editorials

Our View – Cause for celebration, population grows

So have any of you seen the adorable Gerber ads on TV? The ones with the interracial babies, the soft lullaby breezing through the background, an ad created to make even the most emotionally void weep a little inside. These ads aren’t for babies or baby food. No, they are for us, Americans. It’s our birthday!

According to an Oct. 3 article in the Los Angeles Times, sometime around the middle of this month the 300 millionth American will be born.

Many speculate as to what gender and where the baby will be born. Demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution predicts that it will be a Latino boy born in Los Angeles County. He notes that Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. Frey predicts this because L.A. is the most heavily populated Latino area, and there are more boys than girls being born.

While that is a valid point, many other specialists have their own opinions on who the 300 millionth baby will be.

Mark Mather, a demographer for the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau in Washington, said the child could just as well be born to a white woman in a Midwest suburb. He points out that more babies are still being born in America to non-Latino white women, even though the birthrate is lower than it is for Latino women.

Then again, there’s always a two in five chance that it won’t be a baby born to a U.S citizen at all but an immigrant, either arriving legally at an airport or crossing the California border.

It’s incredible to think about: There is one baby every seven seconds, one death per 13 seconds and one net increase in immigrants per 30 seconds. When one does the math, immigration accounts for about 40 percent of population growth.

As we all know, the issue of immigrants has been a hot topic in politics recently, and it makes us think. What would happen if people suddenly stopped immigrating to our (supposedly) free country?

Well, for starters, like most developed countries, we would be faced with a declining population, which could be construed as positive or negative. Frey believes that the United States will continue to rely on immigration for its own good. “The broader view will be that to survive economically in the global economy we’re going to have to bring in immigrants.” Others disagree.

Dowell Myers, a demographer at USC said, “It used to be that growth was considered good. Nowadays we look at population as being mostly a cost. Having a larger population serves no advantage. Instead, it just crowds our roadways and consumes our resources and degrades our quality of life.”

In any case, one can see that our population is growing at an alarming rate. If everyone would stop fussing over illegal immigrants, maybe they would realize that without them, our next generation of Americans would not be born. We need these people to survive in this country. Immigrants are a major part of our population, whether you like it or not.

So let us celebrate the birth of our new brother or sister, whoever they are. Let us rejoice at the brand new member of our family. 300 million – we’ve come a long way.

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