The population of the USA
The current U.S.A. population is over 311 million people (311,800,000 in mid-2011) so the United States has the world’s third largest population (following China and India).
As the world’s population is approximately 6.8 billion, the current United States population represents a mere 4.5% of the world’s population so about one in every twenty people on the planet is a resident of the United States of America.
In 1790, the year of the first census of the U.S.A. population, there were 3,929,214 Americans. By 1900, the U.S.A. population jumped to 75,994,575. In 1920 the census counted more than a hundred million people (105,710,620). Another 100 million people were added to the United States population in just fifty years when the two hundred million barrier was reached in 1970 with 203,302,031 counted in the census.
The 2000 Census counted a U.S.A. population of 281,421,906. Six years later the U.S. population had grown to 300 million. At 7:46 a.m.
According to the US Census Bureau’s population clock, the estimated 2016 United States population (December 2016) is nearly 325 million. This falls just a bit short of the 324.1 million estimated by the United Nations.
By population, the United States of America is the third largest country in the world, falling far behind China (1.4 billion) and India (1.25 billion). Its most populous statesare California (39 million) and Texas (27 million), and its most populous city is New York City (8.5 million.)
Largest state in the United States
The largest state in the USA by population is California, which is estimated to be home to just over 39 million people. If California was a country, it would be the 36th most populous in the world, slightly larger than Poland. Its economy would be the eighth largest economy in the world, with roughly the same GDP as Italy, a European country of 61 million people. Interestingly, though, although California is the largest state in the United States of America, it isn’t the largest state in the continent of North America – that honor goes to Brazil’s state of Sao Paulo.
Largest city in the United States
The largest city in the USA is New York City. The city’s population is estimated at an impressive 8.5 million, which makes New York City larger than the second and third most populous cities in the United States (Los Angeles and Chicago) combined.
For much of the early 20th century, New York City was the largest city in the world. The stunning growth of cities elsewhere in the world means that today, New York is the world’s 9th largest city, sandwiched between Beijing and Guangfo, both located in China. It is, however, the world’s second largest city by GDP – its nominal GDP of $1.55 trillion puts it second only to the Japanese city of Tokyo.
United States Census 2010
The United States census is held once every ten years, to count the number of people in the country to gather basic information, including age, sex, and race. The last census was held in 2010, and the next census will be held in 2020.
The information collected in the census is used for many purposes. The first purpose is to ensure that each seat in Congress represents roughly the same amount of people. National and State governments also use the information to plan services – for example, if they know that the population in an area is growing rapidly, they can plan to build more housing, schools, and hospitals. Every year, the Census Bureau releases annual population estimates. Statistical modelling methods are applied to the most recent census data to give an up-to-date picture of how the population of America changes between censuses.
You can read more about the census at the US Census Bureau website.
United States Population History
Nobody is sure what the population of the Americas was before Columbus arrived in 1492. Estimates vary wildly, but it is commonly accepted that the indigenous population of the Americas (the continents of North and South America combined) was between 50 million and 100 million in the 1490s. That includes approximately 15 million people living in the Aztec Empire and around 6 million Inca. The population of North America at the time is equally uncertain and has been estimated to be between 5 and 15 million.
Indigenous populations were hit hard by the arrival of European settlers. They were attacked by diseases including smallpox, and some historians believe that disease killed over 50% of the population. Even more were killed by wars, massacres, and resettlement programs. The Native American population of the United States reached a low point in the early 20th century but has since been gradually increasing.
Formal censuses were not carried out during the colonial era, but records show that the colonial population grew from a shaky start of just 3,800 in 1610 to over 1 million in 1750. The population grew rapidly moving forward, and when the first official census was held in 1790 shortly after independence, the population had grown to nearly 4 million.
United States Population Projections
The population of the US continues to grow today, driven by a high level of immigration. The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that US population growth is running at 0.9% per year. They estimate that growth will continue fairly steadily over the next four decades, and that the US will reach a population of 400 million in 2039. If their predictions are correct, the US population in 2050 will be around 439 million. The United Nations projects a much lower total, estimating a population of just over 400 millionin 2050.
The country’s racial profile will be vastly different, and although whites will remain the single largest racial group in the the US, they will no longer be a majority. Growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations is predicted to almost triple over the next 40 years.
The average US citizen of 2050 is likely to be older than the average citizen of today, and almost one in five people will be 65 or older. At the same time, the percentage of people who are working age (18-64) is likely to fall from 63% today to 57% in 2050. This will have huge implications for society as younger people work to fund the pensions and healthcare of the older.