Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Imaginary Numbers

As long as we're discussing incredible numbers, (see post below) another one that I find interesting is the claim that there 12,000,000 illegal aliens walking the streets of the United States.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 299,398,484 people in the U.S.A. in 2006, of which 12.4%, or a tad over 37,100,000 were aged 65 or older. Now, unless you believe there are thousands of old people making their way across our long desert border with Mexico with canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, it is pretty unlikely that there are a significant number of elderly illegals.

Almost one-quarter of our population (24.6% or 73,650,000+) is under age 18. While it is true that adult illegal aliens do bring and/or start families here, it stretches even my vivid imagination to believe that they all are, in direct proportion to their purported numbers in the population at large (or almost 3,000,000 illegal children within our borders). In fact, while there is some documentation of villages in Mexico where there are few able-bodied men of working age to be found, I've yet to run across any that document wholesale abandonment of villages by the entire population. (Most mention households being run by women whose husbands have gone off to work.)

At any rate, given the numbers above, it seems to me that if there really are 12,000,000 illegal aliens in the United States, every fifth sixteenth adult you meet on the street is here illegally.
[Corrected. See comments]


peter hoh said...

I may be incorrect with my figures, but I don't see how these figures work out to the one-in-five ratio that you believe is implied.

Start with 300 million. Take away the 37 million older than 65 and the 74 million under 18.

That leaves us with 189 million who are between 18 and 65.

12 million is 6.3 percent of 189 million. That works out to be about 1 in 16.

I don't think that 1 in 16 adults I meet on the street are here illegally.

According to the Census figures, 11 percent of the 2000 population was foreign born. I can believe that.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

You're so right, Peter!!! 5% was the number I came up with, and was was off-to-the-races with "5" in my mind. The numbers do get larger when one considers total non-farm private employment in the U.S., (about 116 million in 2005) and farm wage and salary workers (885,000 in 2002). Then it looks like about 1 in 10.