300 Million in October 2006

by Devanshu Mehta

The US population will hit 300 million in October of this year. The census bureau has a “population clock”:http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html and so does “Gerber”:http://www.gerber300.com/. Gerber, in fact, also says:

We envision the 300th million American years from now, healthy and happy, welcoming the 400th American.

Which lead me to think about how long it takes to rack up those 100 millions? Here is the “historical US population”:http://www.npg.org/facts/us_historical_pops.htm data:

  • *100 mn* – Early 1915
  • *200 mn* – Early 1968
  • *300 mn* – Late 2006 _(projected)_

That means it took close to 300 years for the first 100 million, considering the fact that the pre-Mayflower population of the United States was much less than the numbers we are dealing with. (Hey, I think in scientific terms- we love to neglect the small variables if it makes for a prettier equation.)

The next 100 million took 53 years for an average of 1% annual gain, accelerated for 10 years after the second World War at a rate of 2% per year taking the United States to 200 million.

The final 100 million will have taken 38 years in October. Of course, the _rate_ of increase has not been as high as the mid-20th century. Since the 70s, the US population has only grown at about 0.95% per year which is significantly slower than between 1915 and 1968.

At the moment, the census bureau estimates that there is a new “American” every 11 seconds. If we continue to grow at the rate of 1% a year, we will touch 400 million in about 29 years- that is, 2035.