Skip to main content
Log in

Immigration and United States Economic Growth

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Business Economics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Immigration policy is one of the most hotly contested political issues in the United States. In this paper, we evaluate the role of immigration in the U.S. economy. We pose the counterfactual question, “what would happen if net migration to the U.S. were to cease?” Using the REMI PI+ macroeconomic policy analysis model, we set to zero international immigration from 2018 to 2060, and estimate the national- and state-level economic and demographic implications of this change. Our estimates show that, in the absence of immigration, total U.S. employment would peak in 2019, and the U.S. GDP and labor force would decline by 20% through 2060. Per capita income and GDP effects, however, are relatively minor and sensitive to assumptions in labor and capital markets.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Congressional Budget Office. 2018. Potential GDP and underlying inputs. In Supplement to an update to the budget and economic outlook: 2018 to 2028.

  • US Census Bureau. 2017. CO-EST2016-alldata: Annual resident population estimates, estimated components of resident population change, and rates of the components of resident population change for states and counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016.

  • US Census Bureau. 2014. NP2014_D4: Projected net international migration by single year of age, sex, race, and hispanic origin for the United States: 2014 to 2060.

Download references


We would like to acknowledge excellent research assistance from Jeffrey Dykes.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Frederick Treyz.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Treyz, F., Evangelakis, P. Immigration and United States Economic Growth. Bus Econ 53, 134–140 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: