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The surge of foreign immigration into the United States - and especially into California - during the last few decades has slowed markedly, thanks largely to prolonged economic downturn, but immigration will continue to have major effects, thanks to the burgeoning second generations, a new demographic study indicates.

The percentage of U.S. residents who are foreign-born or children of immigrants will increase from 22.5 percent in 2010 to 30.5 percent by 2040, the study issued by the University of Southern California's Population Dynamics Research Group forecasts. And by 2030, the researchers found, a majority of the nation's foreign-born residents will have lived in the country for at least two decades.

Previous research by the same group determined that immigration has had more than twice the impact on California as it has on the nation as a whole, and thus immigrants, who are mostly from Mexico and other Latin American countries, and their children are already more than half of California's population. Latinos alone are expected to be the largest single ethnic group in California by mid-decade.

"We're marking a major transformation in America," said Dowell Myers, a professor in USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development and co-author of the report.

The USC report estimates the foreign-born population in 2010 based on a detailed demographic accounting of annual population changes through births, deaths and migration. These estimates provide information not available in the 2010 Census, the first census in over a century that did not record residents' place of birth.


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