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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/Stringer

Members of Gen Z are more likely to have immigrant parents than even millennials when they were the same age.

The big picture: Gen Zers were born and are growing up in an era of booming immigration. But they are less likely to be immigrants themselves than millennials were, making a larger percentage of them automatically eligible to vote at 18.

By the numbers: 29% of Gen Z are immigrants or the children of immigrants, compared to 23% of millennials when they were the same age, according to analysis by Pew Research Center's Richard Fry.

  • 13.7% of the total U.S. population is foreign born today — up from 9.7% in 1997, when the first Gen Z-er was born. That's an increase of around 17 million immigrants.
  • The share of immigrants in Generation Z could grow as they get older and reach ages that immigrants would typically come to the U.S. As was the case with millennials, high levels of immigration could grow the youngest generation for decades.

Why it matters: The racial and ethnic diversity of Gen Z, increased by immigration, not only distinguishes the generation, but influences its political and social views, Brian Schaffner, a political scientist at Tufts University, told Axios.

  • "Some of the rhetoric of Trump, and the Republican party in general, in recent years is something that's obviously going to sort of turn off not just the young voters who are racial and ethnic minorities, but also people who are growing up with those much more diverse group of peers," he said.

Having an immigrant background also comes with its challenges. Language barriers and intimidation at polls because of race or ethnicity can prevent some from voting.

The big picture: Foreign-born people made up similarly high shares of the population in the late 1800s through the start of the 1900s. But the vast majority of those immigrants came from European nations.

  • After restrictive immigrant quotas were lifted in 1965, immigrants began flocking to the U.S. from Latin American and Asian nations instead.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Jan 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
5 mins ago - Economy & Business

Merger Monday has been overrun by SPACs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Five companies this morning announced plans to go public via reverse mergers with SPACs, at an aggregate market value of more than $15 billion. And there might be even more by the time you read this.

The bottom line: SPAC merger activity hasn't peaked. If anything, it's just getting started.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.