300 million

Here’s a fascinating data point: Around October this year, America’s population will hit 300 million:

As of yesterday, the Census Bureau officially pegged the resident population of the United States at closing in on 297,900,000. The bureau estimates that with a baby being born every 8 seconds, someone dying every 12 seconds and the nation gaining an immigrant every 31 seconds on average, the population is growing by one person every 14 seconds.

At that rate, the total is expected to top 300 million late this year. But with those projections adjusted monthly and the number of births typically peaking during the summer, the benchmark is likely to be reached about nine months from now.

The United States’ population passed 200 million in 1967, and ranks third in world population behind China and India. While many industrialized nations have seen their populations reach stable levels, the US is still gaining

The Census Bureau projects that the population will top 400 million less than 40 years from now.


click for larger chart


graphic courtesy of NYT

Pretty neat!

Come October, Baby Will Make 300 Million or So
NYT, January 13, 2006

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  1. B commented on Jan 13

    Keep ’em coming. Population growth is our saving grace. I know this is a sensitive topic for many people but it is misguided to believe immigration is a bad thing. And, frankly, no one would be here to post on Barry’s blog without immigration as we are all children of immigrants.

    I had mentioned earlier the need to restore H1B Visas to levels prior to 911 or frankly let the spigot open and let the scientific community in without any limitation. If all of the smart people in the world want to move here, I’d be buying equities in droves. I just read where three of the four founders of Sun Micro were born outside of the US and two were immigrants. They created, what, 50,000 jobs? And how much in taxes? That story is repeated so many times it’s not measurable. (I am not espousing intelligence testing for access to the US. If we did that, we never would have had the pleasure of one of the best low budget SciFi cult movies, The Terminator.)

    I once read a psychologist’s analysis that America had a disproportionate number of manics because of the type of personality drawn to the dream of freedom and entrepreneurial riches. And that was a driving force behind our entrepreneurial success. Plausible, with a benefit that we help the economy with large sales volume of Prozac.

    There is something truly special here even with the judgemental few who are always trying to make life miserable for those that don’t fit their mold. When you travel to Asia, Europe or Africa, you see general homogenization. It really is unique and a wonderful thing to see people of all races and ethnicities share a common bond, their different cultures and our shared culture. No knish’s, pizza, sushi, curry, beans & toast and on and on and on. And I never would have met my fiance and some of my best friends. Next, is equal rights for gay people and we’ll have broken the last of bigotry.

    On that note, I’m off to the North American Auto Show to slobber over Ashanti.


  2. nate commented on Jan 13


  3. Tonto commented on Jan 13

    Maybe I should buy some real estate!

  4. D. commented on Jan 13

    There will always be room for more high rises. Time to buy up lakefront properties!

  5. calmo commented on Jan 13

    I remember people, (not just environmental scholars) talking about 2 Billion being about the limit of the planet. (Maybe these thoughts come after a crowded day at the beach or being turned away at a soldout movie.)

    But that was before McDonald’s and WalMart.

    Ok, maybe it ( US pop = 300M) is neat. Is 400Million neater? (Will we all be eating the not-so-nifty tofu by then? It is said that it is an acquired taste, but billions of asians keeping chickens despite the health hazards, suggest that even they think trying anything else is worth it.)
    Sardinization. We’ll just have to get along in more crowded conditions.

  6. kendawg99 commented on Jan 14

    2 Billion might still be a reasonable limit if all 2B live like we do in the US. Our powerful consumer economy requires a lot of material and generates a lot of waste. According to Jared Diamond, the sum of per capita material resources and waste for the 1st world is 32 times that of the 3rd world. It’s a good thing China and India are 3rd world (for now)

  7. TonyTheTiger commented on Jan 14

    Nonsense!..there will be an epidemic that will wipe out millions, a natural disaster….or a economic depression that will force millions to flee from the US to other countries.

    Nature has an extraordinary way of balancing out.

  8. john commented on Jan 14

    if china continues their zero-growth policy, we may yet catch up.

  9. Ramki commented on Jan 14

    Very interesting. But is not 300 Million too much for USA? Agreed, China at 1.3 Billion and India at 1.1 Billion are far more vastly populated. But China and India have had continuous Civilization and organized farming/petty industry for over 4000 years, US has been here only over last 200-250 years. USA’s Population was 6 million in 1806, now it is 300 million – a 50 fold increase in 200 years. In 1900, US Population was 75 million . So a 4 fold increase in 100 years. Interestingly, even the Big Two – China and India have recorded around the same level of population increase – 4 fold in 100 years. Yes, US Is a different case, because of Immigration. But note that of the immigration till recently has been from Europe(whites/jews/slavs) and American Continent (hispanics).

  10. B commented on Jan 15

    “But is not 300 million too much for the USA”? Are you proposing a cleansing?

    I can see no intelligent basis for that comment. It seems to smack of something ugly. What exactly does that mean? And, what does a thousand years or more of civilization have to do with anything? Is America any more uncivilized than India or China? And if it did have any meaning, are not our immigrants from those civilizations? Did you ever study Boolean Logic? Your logic is flawed.

    So, the US is not civilized or mature enough to accept immigration growth? I’m sure the majority of immigrants would rather leave and go back from whence they came. Maybe we’d be better off butchering tens of millions of our daughters like the Chinese did under a repressive yet ?civilized? form of government? Thus creating an estimated 20 million more men than women. I’m not here to throw stones because many can be thrown at humanity’s past including American but could you care to respond with clarification to a seemingly odd comment?

    Btw, there are 140 million (est) people in Japan. A country the size of one US state and there is plenty of land in Japan. Not alot in Tokyo but….

    A fact of more relevance to this article is the world’s population is expected to decline over the next two hundred years given the birth rate has diminished significantly across the globe. This is inversely correlated to accumulated wealth and is evident in Asia, the Americas, Europe and, likely soon in Africa. That is why we have an “economic miracle” and the Europeans/Japan, with very limited immigration, are in a state of economic stagnation. Been to Japan lately? They have a national goal of increasing immigration…..

  11. D. commented on Jan 15

    It’s only going to work if we focus less and less on material goods.

    Just look at a national Geographics map that depicts the world 20 years ago and now… It’s pretty obvious we’ve been raping the world to increase our consumption.

    The worst part is that we see less and less of the destruction that would force us to clean up our act by regulating our own environement and letting other parts of the world destroy their national ressources. Then we scoff at them for having no ethics.

  12. ElamBend commented on Jan 15

    Out population will continue growing until we reach a population density close to that of Europe’s in the places where this is possible; which is a lot. So many parts of this country are still in such early stages of development (viewed in real long-term, i.e. hundreds of years) that it is just impossible to predict the high end of population at this point. If that scares you, think about Europe. Would anybody described it as over-crowded or lacking in open space or aesthetics? I don’t think so.
    It’s just ridiculous to think that a land mass the size of North America, particularly one hosting such a properous country/economic system would not grow in population until it matched density with other analogous areas.

  13. ElamBend commented on Jan 15

    For an example, take NJ. IIRC, it has a population density greater than that of Bangladesh. Despite the epiteths of New Yorkers who only see what’s accross the Hudson, it is a quite beautiful and prosperous state. Look for this to be duplicated in other places, most likely in southern climes.

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