US population with minimal migration after 1880

Canada only has so much arable land, which limits it's carry capacity.


I'll try and find sources, lol, this will probably take 40 minutes.

Canada has the 7th most arable land in the world, in the 21st century it hasn't hit anywhere near its population capacity let alone in the late 19th century.

It was never a matter of there not being enough arable land in Canada during that period, it was getting people over to settle it and work it, which wasn't the easiest with the US being such a magnet.

If as the OP suggests the US has some sort of stronger nativist period and cuts off immigration, Canada would rise as an option for the millions of Europeans still looking to leave. They wouldn't all go to Canada of course but more so than IOTL.

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prairie-immigration-4.jpg
 
Canada has the 7th most arable land in the world, in the 21st century it hasn't hit anywhere near its population capacity let alone in the late 19th century.

It was never a matter of there not being enough arable land in Canada during that period, it was getting people over to settle it and work it, which wasn't the easiest with the US being such a magnet.

If as the OP suggests the US has some sort of stronger nativist period and cuts off immigration, Canada would rise as an option for the millions of Europeans still looking to leave. They wouldn't all go to Canada of course but more so than IOTL.

Last_best_west.jpg

prairie-immigration-4.jpg
From what I have read, 88% of Canada is uninhabitable, due to the cold and low quality soil. The Boreal forests are not arable.
 
From what I have read, 88% of Canada is uninhabitable, due to the cold and low quality soil. The Boreal forests are not arable.

Even if that's correct Canada is massive, you don't need to have every single part of a country arable to support a large population. Look at how many people live in Japan with its relatively small amount of arable land.

Regardless right now and certainly 100 years ago Canada can and could support much more people than it currently has. It also has the largest supply of fresh water in the world so it's not in a situation like Australia where water resources are a concern.
 

Lusitania

Donor
The other thing that many forget was that industry was growing in Canada during this period. Thousands of migrants came to Canada to work in the mines, mills, factories and while people talk about our boreal forests and northern tundra Canada had millions of land in the prairies, British Columbia. Even New Brunswick and Nova Scotia still had stable land available. The opening of the country in the 1880s with the building of transcontinental railway.

On the other side of world both Australia and New Zealand would of responded differently with the US closed to emigrants.
 
Based on natural growth rates of the native born population and keeping annual immigration under 50,000 the numbers would be around as follows below. This does follow some demographic trends that likely would not occur as they did such as the post-depression slump in the 30s along with the baby boom after World War II.

1880 – 50.2 million
1890 – 58.8 million
1900 – 68.2 million
1910 – 77.6 million
1920 – 86.6 million
1930 – 96.6 million
1940 – 103.6 million
1950 – 117.9 million
1960 – 138.1 million
1970 – 154.1 million
1980 – 166.8 million
1990 – 177.1 million
2000 – 186.2 million
2010 – 193.8 million
2020 – 199.6 million
 

Lusitania

Donor
The thing is a more isolation US might reject any involvement in European wars. Plus the extra population left in Europe would change history and we not sure how 20th century look like
 
If 1880 is the cutoff point, demographically the impact on the U.S. is huge, the country remains one where the white population is mostly of British, German and Irish ancestry. The 1880s experienced the largest number of Northern European immigration in U.S. history. German and Scandinavian immigration would hit their peak in the 1880s, though would remain significant until the 1920s. Prior to 1880, around 300,000 Swedish and Norwegian immigrants had settled in the U.S. along with fewer than 50,000 Danes. Between 1880 and 1920, over 1.5 million Swedes and Norwegians would arrive along with nearly 250,000 Danes.

Around 1.8 million British, 1.5 million Germans, 1.5 million Irish, and 1.3 million Canadians immigrated to the U.S. between 1880 and 1920. In the latter group nearly half were French-Canadians. These groups had already been immigrating to the United States in larger numbers, but here there would be far fewer.

There would be perhaps at most a 200,000 Italian-Americans by 2020 if that and around 100,000 Polish-Americans at most. Jewish immigration from Germany had led their numbers to increase to around a quarter of a million by 1880, but the millions arriving from the Russian Empire and Galicia had not yet begun immigrating. Asians would be almost only Chinese, and even these perhaps numbering 100,000 to 200,000 today.

African-American migration from the South to the industrial states will likely occur earlier and on a larger scale. Looking at the figures, 1915 and 1916 were when the largest numbers began moving to the industrial cities of the north, this coincided with the huge drop of incoming European immigrants. It slowed a bit in the first half of the 1920s when Europeans began arriving again, but then grew once more with the immigration act of 1924. The depression slowed this down a bit, but during World War II and especially after the war the great migration took off once more. New York City's black population stood and 1.8% in 1900 and was 1.9% in 1910, but it shot up to 2.7% in 1920 , 4.7% in 1930 , 9.5% by 1950 and 21.1% by 1970.

Also, if Puerto Rico still becomes U.S. territory, Puerto Ricans might begin migrating to the U.S. in larger numbers earlier on. They largely began arriving after World War II, settling heavily in the Northeast, but if Cubans are kept out as foreigners, Tampa in Florida might have a Puerto Rican presence rather than a Cuban one before World War II.

So the question is what would happen to the additional emigrants from Europe. A larger number would likely remain in their home countries if opportunities are not available. There needs to be a "pull factor" to attract immigrants. Until the early twentieth century, Canada had negative overseas migration, with more people leaving (mostly for the U.S.) than arriving. Perhaps the government opens up Rupert's Land to large-scale settlement earlier. As a result, the Prairies are far more German and Scandinavian in character. Between 1881 and 1891, 146,000 more people left Canada than entered, and 1881 to 1891 this number was 130,000, so something also needs to be done to accommodate the large numbers of Canadians leaving for the U.S. Australia experienced a sharp depression in the 1890s and its government heavily restricted non-British immigration. Both countries recovered, but the 1880-1900 period saw millions of migrants leaving Europe and I do not see them being able to absorb so many.

More Italians would likely migrate to Argentina and Uruguay as their numbers were already huge. To Brazil, Italian immigration experienced a sharp decline around 1902. It was overwhelmingly from Northern Italy and we might see far more southern Italians arrive, particularly in the Southern Cities. Prior to World War II, countries like Chile, Colombia, Mexico all desperately attempted to attract European immigrants in larger numbers, with Chile being the most successful, but even the country's European-born population peaked at around 2.2% of the total in 1907. Paraguay is also an interesting option for Mennonites as they began attracting them in the 1920s from Canada along with Russia. In the U.S. old-believers and other religious minorities began to arrive from Russia in the 1880s, they might begin migrating to Latin America instead. Perhaps the Latin American countries outside of Brazil, Cuba, Argentina and Uruguay have more success in attracting European immigrants before 1920. Jews from the Pale of Settlement might arrive in more Latin American cities, as they often settled in urban areas and engaged in trade and commerce. They would not need to settle in industrialised cities, and some would likely establish shops after having worked as peddlers.
 
During the 1880-1924 period, most of the migrants wanted to do industrial work, so that means they wouldn't be migrating to most of Africa, they might migrate to South Africa to a limited extent, it is unlikely they would be able to migrate to Australasia, due to the strength of the unions there, which had significant influence over border policy.

They could migrate to Canada, but it does not have the same amount of opportunities as the US had, so the migration would be significantly lower than otl migration to US in 1880-1924.

Okay, immigration historian here - and this isn't exaclty true. You're making the mistake of equating correlation with causation. Yes,the vast majority (but not all!) immigrants during this era found industrial jobs in the cities. However, thats a very different thing than saying that "most migrations wanted to do industrial work." The reality is much more nuanced. Most immigrants found themselves working in industrial jobs because thee jobs provided semi-steady income to workers who were largely unspecialized. There were a significant number of migrants who, instead, moved to the Upper Midwest and West and founded rural settlements instead (if you want more information, I've suggest looking into Gjerde's "The Minds of the West." Amazing study, that focused mainly on rural settlements in the Upper Missippisi Valley in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota).

The fact is, though, that industrial work provided the best opportunity to many migrants to make a life for themselves and their families - this was not because they had an overweening desire to engage in industrial work, but simply that it is was what was available. Many landed in Eastern port cities and simply didn't have the resources to travel further West to the possibilities of rual land to farm. And so, they did the pragmatic thing and worked where they could.
 
40% of Americans can trace their ancestry to people who came through Ellis Island.


The great steamships like the Titanic might not be built without all the steerage passage moving to America.
So smaller growth in population and slower industrial growth. Higher wages for industrial workers in America and less competitive
American industrial goods. Also, a shortage of farmworkers so reduced farm output. Higher wages in America makes a more attractive place for illegal immigration. Labour shortages may limit America's interest in sending soldiers to fight in wars overseas wars. With higher wages in the civilian market recruiting and retaining trained soldier will be more difficult.
American intervention in WWI might be nixed.
Without legal immigration to America, this could lead to increased tensions in Europe and an increased chance of conflict.
A lot of money will be put into labour-saving technology and industrial automation.
Higher wages on US-flagged ship could mean a reduced America merchant marine and more reliance on foreign ships for imports and exports.
The government may have incentives for families to have more children to make up for labour shortages.
Countries like South Africa may get a lot more European immigration.
Overall reduced immigration sound like it will be bad for America.
 
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Lusitania

Donor
Okay, immigration historian here - and this isn't exaclty true. You're making the mistake of equating correlation with causation. Yes,the vast majority (but not all!) immigrants during this era found industrial jobs in the cities. However, thats a very different thing than saying that "most migrations wanted to do industrial work." The reality is much more nuanced. Most immigrants found themselves working in industrial jobs because thee jobs provided semi-steady income to workers who were largely unspecialized. There were a significant number of migrants who, instead, moved to the Upper Midwest and West and founded rural settlements instead (if you want more information, I've suggest looking into Gjerde's "The Minds of the West." Amazing study, that focused mainly on rural settlements in the Upper Missippisi Valley in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota).

The fact is, though, that industrial work provided the best opportunity to many migrants to make a life for themselves and their families - this was not because they had an overweening desire to engage in industrial work, but simply that it is was what was available. Many landed in Eastern port cities and simply didn't have the resources to travel further West to the possibilities of rual land to farm. And so, they did the pragmatic thing and worked where they could.
Case point that emigrants that Canada attracted to settle in the prairies would be traveling directly from Canadian port to the prairies.

So you either had emigrants who left their country and then when they reached the new country tried to find jobs or opportunities. Some took first job and neither had the will nor ability to go further. Others moved elsewhere both internally or to other countries based on the perception of opportunities while some returned home when they had saved enough to return due to culture, economic shock. Not everyone coming from a small village could or wanted to adapt to or live in a foreign urban center.

The other type were those brought to a particular country to settle a particular area. In Canada we had a lot of those. Icelandic recruited to live along lane Winnipeg to fish and farm. German-Russians, Ukrainians recruited to settle empty prairie similar to land that they farmed in Russia.

I wonder how the world would react to a closed America. Canada - US relations during that time was built on an open border with little border controls between the two countries. If the border is closed to immigrants then hundreds of thousands of French Canadians would either try to enter US as illegal emigrants or go elsewhere both internally and elsewhere.

The other point is that emigrants generated a huge amount of economic growth and investment flowed to where economies were growing. The US economic growth would most likely be cut in half and a large part of the investment that went into the US from overseas and domestically also flow elsewhere.

Lastly I wanted to dwell a little in the societal changes this lack of emigration would resulted in. Some sort of anti-immigration movement after civil war would of needed to rise for this to happen. Maybe an offshoot of anti-Catholic programs started in north around ACW. This program would of grown to state that emigrants are tearing country apart and US needs time to absorb the emigrants it has. This would mean that foreigners would be looked upon as not welcome. Spanish, French Canadians would be looked in same way current illegals are in today. How the country reacts to illegals would be telling of the racism or disdain for those not Americans. As time passed there be a competing forces. On one side hoping to open US to emigrants and hoping to increase economy while others wanting to keep borders closed.

I not sure industrialization would happen to same extent and the need for both Africans from south and illegals not be strong. It also depends on the economies of Americas neighbors. If both Canada and Mexico industrialize much faster attracting both its own people and emigrants then the US looses its luster.
 
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@BELFAST

Pro
The great steamships like the Titanic might not be built without all the steerage passage moving to America.
This is good because the people that died on the Titanic wouldn't die.
So smaller growth in population and slower industrial growth. Also, a shortage of farmworkers so reduced farm output.
This is beneficial for America's environment.
Higher wages for industrial workers in America
This is increases the living standard for the working class.
Labour shortages may limit America's interest in sending soldiers to fight in wars overseas wars. With higher wages in the civilian market recruiting and retaining trained soldier will be more difficult. American intervention in WWI might be nixed.
This saves the lives of American soldiers who died in the world wars and interventions. This improves America's international reputation. Civilians have more opportunity, as they get to serve their country and return back to civilian life with new skills, without having injuries from war or PTSD.
A lot of money will be put into labour-saving technology and industrial automation.
This makes the US more economically efficient.
The government may have incentives for families to have more children to make up for labour shortages.
This is great for Americans, as they can have larger families with a lesser financial burden.

Con
The great steamships like the Titanic might not be built without all the steerage passage moving to America.
This is a loss for America's culture.
slower industrial growth. less competitive American industrial goods. Also, a shortage of farmworkers so reduced farm output.
This is bad for America's economy.
Higher wages in America makes a more attractive place for illegal immigration.
This is bad as it creates a class of second class citizens.
Higher wages on US-flagged ship could mean a reduced America merchant marine and more reliance on foreign ships for imports and exports.
This is causes America to lose it's self reliance.

Conclusion
This America is neither good nor bad, it is a different America.
 
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Based on natural growth rates of the native born population and keeping annual immigration under 50,000 the numbers would be around as follows below. This does follow some demographic trends that likely would not occur as they did such as the post-depression slump in the 30s along with the baby boom after World War II.

1880 – 50.2 million
1890 – 58.8 million
1900 – 68.2 million
1910 – 77.6 million
1920 – 86.6 million
1930 – 96.6 million
1940 – 103.6 million
1950 – 117.9 million
1960 – 138.1 million
1970 – 154.1 million
1980 – 166.8 million
1990 – 177.1 million
2000 – 186.2 million
2010 – 193.8 million
2020 – 199.6 million
Would you be able to do the same for Canada, if it didn't have much migration post 1880?
 
Would you be able to do the same for Canada, if it didn't have much migration post 1880?
Canada has some variables as there was a huge net migration to the United States, not only from Quebec but also from the Maritimes that often headed to the New England mill towns. Should I exclude that migration? Additionally, most immigration before 1900 was from the United Kingdom and the United States. One imagines that they could bar non-British subjects from owning land, but it presumably would be more difficult to bar British immigrants completely. Although Canada had self government, the Governor General was still responsible to Whitehall and not Ottawa, so I could see some sort of annual cap along with income restrictions on British immigration (Southern Rhodesia did this), but not barring it completely.
 
Canada has some variables as there was a huge net migration to the United States, not only from Quebec but also from the Maritimes that often headed to the New England mill towns. Should I exclude that migration? Additionally, most immigration before 1900 was from the United Kingdom and the United States. One imagines that they could bar non-British subjects from owning land, but it presumably would be more difficult to bar British immigrants completely. Although Canada had self government, the Governor General was still responsible to Whitehall and not Ottawa, so I could see some sort of annual cap along with income restrictions on British immigration (Southern Rhodesia did this), but not barring it completely.
Exclude the migration to the US. Include the migration from Britain and the US.
 
If US implemented very restricted immigration policy in earlier 20th century, mass of European immigrants might start to move to Canada. I would imagine that Canada would implement a similar policy soon.

Imagine 4 million Italian immigrants wanted to come to Canada from 1890 to 1920. Canada's population was 8 million in 1920. I can't imagine Canadian government would welcome 4 million immigrants who barely speak English.

Hypothetically speaking, Canada welcomed these Italian immigrants and most of them were settled in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. These provinces might become another Quebec in 20 years.

I believe US immigration policy has big impact on Canadian ones. I would think immigrant would move to Australia or South America.
 
If US implemented very restricted immigration policy in earlier 20th century, mass of European immigrants might start to move to Canada. I would imagine that Canada would implement a similar policy soon.

Imagine 4 million Italian immigrants wanted to come to Canada from 1890 to 1920. Canada's population was 8 million in 1920. I can't imagine Canadian government would welcome 4 million immigrants who barely speak English.

Hypothetically speaking, Canada welcomed these Italian immigrants and most of them were settled in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. These provinces might become another Quebec in 20 years.

I believe US immigration policy has big impact on Canadian ones. I would think immigrant would move to Australia or South America.

There was no way that Canada could accommodate that large a number of Italian immigrants, as the number of jobs available was simply not there. Also, during this period nearly half of all Italians immigrants arriving in the U.S. returned to Italy, one only has to realize that by 1920 there were only 1.6 million Italian born individuals in the United States despite much higher numbers of immigrant arrivals. The vast majority, or around 85% were hailed from what had been the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and lived in urban areas. They were largely attracted to the factories of the Eastern U.S. and Midwest, American industry thrived prior to 1929. Additionally, before 1913, American industry was protected by what were at that time some of the highest tariffs among Western countries. This policy would not have had so much success had the U.S. not had what at the time was the world's largest internal market. In Canada there were factories, but most industries were branch plants without the massive numbers of work opportunities south of the border. Additionally, the Italians in the U.S. were largely unskilled workers who disproportionately male and were often known as "birds of passage" because they would come and go between Europe and Italy, often more than once. Though Canada had some heavy industry, the steel and automobile industries were still nascent and would grow Southern Ontario, but these do not emerge overnight.

According to the Census of 1921, Canada had 35,531 individuals born in Italy (compared with 1.610.113 in the U.S.), a number that increased to 42,578 by 1931. These numbers were similar to those in Chile, Peru or Mexico, and much lower than those in Argentina, Brazil or Uruguay. The majority of these Italians were concentrated in the urban Ontario and Montreal. With 9,000 Italian-born individuals in Toronto by 1921. However, in 1920 even smaller New England cities such as Providence, New Haven and Hartford all had more than twice as many Italian-born individuals as Toronto, and this is ignoring the 390,825 in New York City or 136,793 in Philadelphia. Canada did attract a large number of Italians after World War II into the 1970s, but at that time Canada had a much more dynamic economy with larger cities and was able to find work for so many Italians. The automotive industry, particularly grew during this period, with automobiles becoming Canada's largest export by the 1960s. If the U.S. remains closed to immigrants, I do not see it being very open to industrial imports, and for Canada's industries to grow access to the U.S. market is necessary.

Prior to World War II Argentina in some ways mirrored Canada. Both countries' economies relied on the export of natural resources and with small but growing industrial sectors. Both had fairly high standards of living and attracted large numbers of immigrants between 1900 and 1914 especially. In both countries, a larger proportion of the population had been born abroad than in the United States. Whereas in 1921, 22% of Canada's of the inhabitants had been born abroad, only 13% of the U.S. population were foreign-born in 1920. In Argentina, the 1914 census showed that 30% of Argentina's inhabitants had also been born abroad. However, unlike in the U.S. both countries attracted nearly three-quarters or more came from two countries. For Canada in 1921, 74% of all individuals born outside of the country hailed from the British Isles and the United States, whereas in Argentina 73% of foreign-born individuals came from Italy and Spain. In the U.S. by 1920 the combined total for the United Kingdom (including Ireland), former Austria-Hungary, former Russian Empire, former German Empire and Italy only totaled 72% of the total foreign-born population.

If anything, without the U.S. as an option Canada would likely attract more Italians, but not likely in the numbers that South America would. Argentina tended to attract a much larger portion of skilled Italian immigrants, particularly as the similarity of the Spanish to Italian dialects offered workers greater opportunities than in the United States for the skilled and semi-skilled. Brazil too, where the Italian-born population had declined from a peak of around 675,000 in 1905 to 558,405 in 1920 due to far fewer arrivals after 1903. With fewer options, Italians I would expect Italian immigration to remain at over 100,000 per year as it was in 1897, whereas by 1910 fewer than 15,000 Italians immigrated. The number of Portuguese and Spanish immigrants to Brazil continued to climb, during this period, so there were economic opportunities. However, it appears that the United States emerged as a more desirable destination for short-term Italian emigrants than Brazil.

For Canada, I can see a larger number of Scandinavians, Poles and Ukrainians, but even IOTL by the 1930s the Prairie provinces experience a negative out migration, particularly to Ontario and Western Canada can only hold so many people. Saskatchewan and to a lesser extent Manitoba experienced a sort of stagnation that was not overcome until the 1950s, and even then their economic opportunities still were far fewer than those offered in other Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Additionally, one has to remember there was significant emigration from Canada to the United States with 1,138,174 individuals born in Canada and Newfoundland living in the United States by 1920. If the U.S. is closed, these people are going to need to remain in Canada or find opportunities elsewhere. Perhaps with New England and Michigan closed, the French Canadians are encouraged to settled in the Prairies in larger numbers.
 
If anything, without the U.S. as an option Canada would likely attract more Italians, but not likely in the numbers that South America would. Argentina tended to attract a much larger portion of skilled Italian immigrants, particularly as the similarity of the Spanish to Italian dialects offered workers greater opportunities than in the United States for the skilled and semi-skilled.
That is a solid point. Argentina might become a country with larger population and economy.
 
Exclude the migration to the US. Include the migration from Britain and the US.

Below is Canada's population after 1880 with no emigration to the U.S. and only immigration from Britain, the U.S. and Newfoundland (before 1949). Newfoundland and Labrador are only included after 1950. This assumes that nothing changes. Early on, French Canadians had higher fertility rate, so restricting their emigration will make it so that until 1950 Canada's population is higher. Additionally as Britain and the U.S. were the principal sources of immigration until that time, Canada's population would remain higher. After the 1960s, British and American immigration only formed a small part of the population, and as a result Canada's population figure for 2020 is 10 million fewer. Of course the figures below are improbable simply because they have all of the other variables remaining the same as IOTL.

1880 - 4.3 million
1890 - 5.1 million
1900 - 6.1 million
1910 - 7.9 million
1920 - 9.4 million
1930 - 10.9 million
1940 - 12.1 million
1950 - 14 million
1960 - 17.3 million
1970 - 19.8 million
1980 - 21.7 million
1990 - 23.6 million
2000 - 25 million
2010 - 26 million
2020 - 26.7 million
 
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