Cause and Effect: Supply and Demand

For Rent SignAn astute reader identified a recent article concerning the fact that rents have risen much faster than increases in income, making them take a larger chunk of income. He noted that the article completely omitted the fact that one of the main factors causing this situation is the rapidly rising population size – which is largely a result of the country’s large-scale immigration.

The article in USA Today on June 29 offered this explanation for the higher rental costs: “The reasons are wide-ranging, including rising construction costs, land-use restrictions that have limited the creation of new supply and the fact that renters are migrating from more affordable cities to more expensive ones, such as New York, San Francisco and Denver.” Totally ignored was the fact that since 2000 the country has added nearly 52 million more residents.

In addition to ignoring population growth, the article ignores that the major component of that population growth is due to immigration. New immigrants and their children born after arrival account for about three-fourths of that rapid population growth.

If articles such as this one on rental affordability discussed population growth and immigration, then they might responsibly point out that the level of immigration is a discretionary policy set by Congress and could be scaled back from more than one million new foreign residents per year today to a more moderate level that would not result in population growth.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Sanctuary City Seattle Wants Higher Rents and Property Taxes for more IMMIGRATION OVERPOPULATION

    To pay for their schooling and welfare costs…

    I told them NO Way in a survey today.

  2. avatar

    US population in 1993, the first year of the Clinton administration, was 257 million. Now it’s 323 million, an increase of 66 million. Mostly due to immigration.

    This is an environmental catastrophe for this country, on top of all the other negatives. But will Hillary comment on this? Will she be asked about this at any debates? No, of course not, because we have a media that does not serve the public interest. Their interest is the bottom line plain and simple. If they were to ask a question like that, vital as the discussion is, they would face boycotts, charges of nativism, racism, and every other “ism” that our “advocacy” groups can come up with. So they repeat talking points.

    Miami has the largest foreign born population of any major city. So according to the theory of how immigration makes us all wealthier, that city should be at the top of the list for great places to live.

    Except, last week, 24/7 Wall Street ranked Miami “worst city to live”. Ironic because the WS Journal has long endorsed open borders, claiming that immigration is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    The principal reason was median home value was 245,000, as compared to the national average of 181,000. But they have higher wages to make up for that, right? No, median household income was 31,917, compared to the national median income of 53,657. South Florida, with waves of immigrants, is the least affordable metro area.

    But the millennials get this, right? After all they face a bad job market and unaffordable rents. No, they think we can let the whole world come here, legally or not.

    • avatar

      Globalism… open boarders…. how can that possibly be a problem…. unless your trying to increase your voter base and socialism is your goal….