Insights · October 18th, 2006
Today was the big day. The U.S. population hit 300 million people. In fact, as I write this near midnight Eastern time, the population clock now reads 300,005,079. This is up from 100 million in 2015, and 200 million in 1967. The Census Bureau projects that the nation will hit 400 million in 2043, thirty-seven years from now. (The world stands at 6,551,103,921 at the moment.)
But we will never see 400 million. That is my prediction. Why. We’ve explored this before as it has been known for years that birth rates are peaking.
Demographers missed the big population stories of the 20th Century until they were well underway…the great increase in life spans due to medical care and sanitation, the size of the baby boom after World War II, and the drop off of global birth rates afer 1980.
The prospect of decline is lost in the daily increase of global and national population. The world grows at about 140 people per minute. So we focus, and rightly so, on population increases and the resulting problems and opportunities. The day the decline begins, the problems and opportunities may only be larger, because we will have little experience with them.