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U.S. Population Hits 300 Million 492

Posted by Zonk
from the conserving-most-of-our-planet's-resources-since-1776 dept.
ChrisK87 writes "The United States' population will hit 300 million on Tuesday morning, just 39 years after it reached 200 million, the US Census Bureau estimates. A 'population clock' will record the milestone at 0746 (1146 GMT) — a timing based on calculations that factor birth and death rates and migration." From the article: "But it is not possible to say if the 300-millionth American was a new-born or crossed one of the US borders. Correspondents say that there is not expected to be the same hullabaloo as when the figure of 100 million was reached in 1915, or the double century in 1967 when President Johnson gave a speech and newborn Robert Ken Woo Jr was hailed the 200-millionth American by Life magazine. Today, the population figure is mired in the divisive politics of immigration — a hot-button issue ahead of the 7 November mid-term elections, they say." The story has lots of interesting stats and graphs, for those of us so inclined.
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U.S. Population Hits 300 Million

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  • Hola (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:22AM (#16467195)
    My name ees Jose and I am dee tree hundred million person in dee Joonited Stace. I come from Chihuaha Mehico and my favorite color is jello.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:22AM (#16467211) Journal
    ... but for me it would have only been 299,999,997.
  • 400 million (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info.devinmoore@com> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:23AM (#16467219) Homepage Journal
    At the current rate of birth/death in the US, we'll hit 400 million in approx 2043 [csmonitor.com], with the southern states gaining the most. It makes sense that the south would gain more, because I can't see how we can support that many more people in the bigger northern cities.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JanneM (7445)
      It makes sense that the south would gain more, because I can't see how we can support that many more people in the bigger northern cities.

      Tokyo metropolitan area has 35 million people and is still growing. I'd say the risk of your cities getting full is not an argument.

      • by rkcallaghan (858110) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:23AM (#16468265)
        JanneM wrote:
        Tokyo metropolitan area has 35 million people and is still growing.
        Yea but, in Tokyo a hotel room is a 4' shelf and your feet hang off the end. We're far too fat in this country to ever sardine ourselves together like they do in Japan.

        ~Rebecca
        • by sunwukong (412560)
          Obviously the physical paradigm is wrong -- instead of a sushi roll on a plank, North Americans would probably more fit the "dozen eggs in a carton" model.

          Guests would have their individual, snug little fabric cylinders packed together for space efficiency.

          During the day they would work in, say, more rectangular analogues to accomodate their miniature office environment, e.g., desk, computer, inspirational poster, etc.
    • Re:400 million (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CrazyTalk (662055) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:44AM (#16467573)
      Bigger northern cities? You mean Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, and many others that are a small fraction of the size they were 50 years ago? If people wanted to move up north, theres plenty of room for 'em.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by FreeGamer (1001924)
      I would suggest for people to stop having sex, but it seems somewhat redundant in to say that on /.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bastian (66383)
      The most densely populated city anywhere near me is Chicago. Chicago has lots and lots of room to grow. The city proper is pretty dense, but you can always knock down two-flats and build larger apartment complexes. What really needs to happen, though, is for someone to tear up all the wasted space that was created by the suburban fetish for asphalt and start doing something useful with that 60-mile-radius wasteland that surrounds the city.
    • by ranton (36917) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:39AM (#16468617)
      There is plenty of room for growth in the northern half of america. The reason that southern states grow the most is because they on average have lower levels of education and have a weaker economy. The dumber you are and the poorer you are, the more kids you have.

      It is a defense mechanism that all animals possess. When your survival is in jeopardy, start popping out offspring with the slim hope that some will actually survive to adulthood. In the animal kingdom all but the most fit just die off. But in our world of welfare, the rest of us keep them alive and make the problem worse.

      It is just a problem of morality. I could never look at a 1 year old baby that is starving and say that we should just let it die. But to fix most of our societies problems, we shouldnt be helping them. But because most of us are not immoral monsters, the lowest class of our citizens will continue to reproduce rapidly.

      --
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ranton (36917)
        Seeing that my first post recieved the moderation of Flamebait it just shows how impossible this problem would be to fix. Political correctness has permiated American culture to the point where actual intelligent discussion of the problem is almost impossible.

        It is WRONG and IMMORAL to have children if you are on welfare. It is WRONG and IMMORAL to have children if you are in poverty. But in today's society, it seams to be wrong and immoral to even mention that the poor citizens in our society are causin
  • by YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:24AM (#16467237) Homepage
    Anyway, congratulations. I heard on the radio this morning the states are the worlds third most populous country, right after China and India. Surprised me.

    Anyone know why the US is stilling growing significantly, as opposed to most European countries? Which demographics are producing most children? How much does the number of legal immigrants contribute to the growth?
    • I wonder how they could be sure of the number if they count illegal immigrants - I mean we only have a guesstimate figure for how many of them are in the country anyway. The number could easily be off by a couple mil.
    • by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:29AM (#16467295) Journal
      Anyone know why the US is stilling growing significantly, as opposed to most European countries?

      Higher birth and immigration rates.

      Which demographics are producing most children?

      Red states. I'm serious. Comapre Utah to California. (I'd give you the stats if I were less lazy.)

      How much does the number of legal immigrants contribute to the growth?

      Don't know, but for comparison, I read that of all immigrants in the world (people who leave one country for another to live), 3/8 of them have the US as their destination.

      Another stat I can't be bothered to check, but sounds reasonable.
      • >Higher birth and immigration rates.
        Higher birth maybe but several European countries have higher immigration rates. Alas I'm at work so I don't have my info to hand but there was a chart of the various countries immigration stats and US was surprisingly far down the list, 4th or 5th ISTR.
    • by mi (197448) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:30AM (#16467315) Homepage
      Anyone know why the US is stilling growing significantly, as opposed to most European countries? Which demographics are producing most children? How much does the number of legal immigrants contribute to the growth?

      Wider-spread religiosity and gender-equality are the factors according to this article [economist.com].

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rbf2000 (862211)
      Basically, the poorer you are, the more children you have. So inversely, the richer you are, the less children you have. Just think about it this way: People that are rich have time that is very valuable, so they can't afford to have many children, because they would waste too much of their own time.

      Poor people, it seems, have nothing but free time, and can therefore have more children. Although the care they give per child is less than the care given by parents who have fewer children.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kombat (93720)
        People that are rich have time that is very valuable, so they can't afford to have many children, because they would waste too much of their own time.

        You're thinking about it backwards. Has it occurred to you that rich and middle-class people are well off precisely because they don't have kids? Kids are expensive. They reduce the overall household income (by causing one or both parents to work less, or even quit their career altogether), in addition to raising household costs (increased food consumption,
        • Well said. I was going to try and say this but you pretty much nailed it.

          The only thing I'd add is that it gets even worse when you consider people that have children at a very young age -- i.e. the phenomenon we politely call "teen pregnancy." When someone has a child before they're even able to support themselves, they essentially create two loads on their family (and/or the tax-supported public welfare system): themselves and the child. Not only do they create a new non-worker, but they take themselves o
    • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:39AM (#16467485) Journal
      A few reasons. Europe is mainly 'full' -- its landmass is less than that of the US IIRC, or darn near close...they have 700+ million, the US just hit 300. Alot of central Europe is mountain region remember, they just don't have the wide open plains like north america.

      Also, Europe is comprised of very old, mature set of societies. Less social and economic mobility; all the land is owned and in use. The US still has large amounts space and sparsely populated cities. The rustbelt has a negative population growth for example.

      Finally, I think the social objectives are a bit different. Speaking in very broad terms, most European societies are not as materalistic. There's alot of negatives to materialism as a motivator, but it does give your economy a very powerful engine. This creates oppportunity, which in turn attracts immigrants.
    • Teenage pregnancies might me a partial answer it. They've gone down a lot more in most european countries. According to this diagram http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/content/vol324/issue73 5 0/images/medium/16874.gif [bmjjournals.com] it looks like it would be something like half in europe compared to the US (BMJ -> British Medical Journal). So maybe "planning" for children is much more common in europe and leads to fewer children.
    • I live in Japan (Score:2, Interesting)

      by peter Payne (947429)
      (I'll skip the obvious joke about how Americans are just growing and growing, in population as well as belt size...)

      I am an American living in Japan, where the population has just started shrinking as of this year. No one has babies -- too much stress, cost, and there are subtle pressures to have 1-2 kids because everyone else is having 1-2. It's odd and a little scary. Is population shrinkage (which will be small of course, and much less imporantant than the tendency of people to get the heck out of the "i
    • by JavaLord (680960) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:29AM (#16468405) Journal
      Anyone know why the US is stilling growing significantly, as opposed to most European countries? Which demographics are producing most children? How much does the number of legal immigrants contribute to the growth?

      Legal immigration and hispanic birthrates are what contribute to the growth. In some states (ie Utah) Caucasian birthrate is above replacement level, but in most states it is not. Europe has the same problem, Caucasian people are pretty much dying out. African Americans aren't much better, as they are right around replacement rate (2.1), and I suspect in a few years they will fall below it.

      As cultures/people become intigrated into western society they tend to have less children. The availability of Birth Control, higher education, and workplace oppurtunity for women are what I believe causes it, along with dropping sperm counts.
    • by scottennis (225462) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:24AM (#16469569) Homepage
      I read in Smithsonian magazine last night that the US allows more legal immigrants than the rest of the countries in the world combined. Kind of blew me away.
    • Anyone know why the US is stilling growing significantly, as opposed to most European countries? Which demographics are producing most children?

      Females aged 18 to 40. They're waaaay ahead of any other group.

  • I blame the Vikings myself. Things were just fine till they came over, had a nice time, didn't take the hint and then told the rest of those pesky Europeans about the place. ;-)
  • by mi (197448) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:27AM (#16467257) Homepage

    America is the only developed nation which is still robustly growing. Our own average fertility rate is just above 2 kids per woman, which is enough to sustain population. The substantial immigration provides grows.

    Economist [economist.com] thinks, religion has something to do with the fenomenon...

    • by Elemenope (905108)
      Economist may have something there; last year I did a report on the Israeli educational system which showed an interesting trend of the ever proportionately increasing size of religiously-based education as opposed to the secular system, and the main causal agent was that the Orthodox and Haredim simply have more kids than the more secularized segments of the population. But, methinks in the US of A two other major factors are the still sizable agricultural sector (and the large families that traditionally
  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:30AM (#16467319)
    It's the divisive politics of Illegal immigration. I know and have read of no one who is against immigration in the U.S. We're all too closely descended from immigrants.

    It's *Illegal* immigration that causes the rift.

    Don't lose control of the words. Words mean something.
    • I agree. . . the sprit and promise of Lady Liberty is still very much alive.

      You know what though, you know what the immigrants who were welcomed by the Statue of Liberty did? They stopped at Ellis Island to register and apply for residency.

      -CR

      • by dominion (3153)

        Yeah, because nobody got turned down back then.

        You do realize that when all the European immigrants came over at the turn of last century, there was no such thing as an "illegal immigrant?" Immigration was exceedingly simple. And everybody got to stay except for the Asians (Asian Exclusion Act, anyone?).

        Now, you have "illegal" immigration which ignores the 50,000 or so illegal Irish immigrants in NYC, but focuses on Latinos. What we're gearing up for is another Operation Wetback (Wiki search it).

        Didn't k
        • Actually, lots of immigrants got turned away. That's what Ellis Island was for.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by rock_vbrg (949708)
          What you are missing is that during the first half of the last century the USA did not have the welfare state that is currently in place here now. Because of this if you came into the USA before the 1940's, you were expected to either work or starve. Soup kitchens and other charity was setup by PRIVATE individuals and other charity organizations (mainly Christian churches). These were supported by PRIVATE citizens who donated to those causes, there was no government support or bail-out like we have now.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mjh (57755)
            I can neither support nor refute your claims about why people wish to immigrate to the United States. But let's assume that you're descriptions and motivations are correct. That it's the social programs that are drawing immigrants who desire a free ride. Isn't the appropriate response then to say that this is an unintended consequence of the social welfare programs and call into question the validity of those programs? It seems to me that continuing to support restrictions on immigration is an attempt t
    • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot DOT kadin AT xoxy DOT net> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:46AM (#16467595) Homepage Journal
      Seriously -- mod parent up.

      There's no "immigration debate," at least not in mainstream politics; the debate is over illegal immigration.

      Immigration per se isn't a divisive issue at all. Except for the very far-right fringe, I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that we should stop legitimate immigration of people with skills that are in-demand, here in the United States. The disagreement is in how to deal with the large number of illegal immigrants, doing mostly low-value work, and the consequent social problems that having an effective sub-class of workers entails.

      The only debate I can think of that involves legal immigration has to do with the way the U.S. grants refugee status, and the "anchor baby" phenomenon, but those are closely tied to the same issues that make illegal immigration important; they're not really fundamental questions about immigration.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Except for the very far-right fringe, I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that we should stop legitimate immigration of people with skills that are in-demand, here in the United States


        No, but the left would have you think that the right is against it by leaving out the word "illegal" whenever it comes up. Leave out "illegal", and boom, you have non-compassionate conservatives hating on all immigrants.

    • Borders are only for people. With NAFTA and GATT, there are very few barriers towards capital or goods crossing borders. This means money will follow poverty. That poor area will export the excess goods, becoming wealthy. At which point, capital will move to the next poor area. Since people can't move to follow the jobs, once rich areas will become poor again after the capital flees. At this point, borders are all about maintaining a cheap labor pool.
    • It's the divisive politics of Illegal immigration. I know and have read of no one who is against immigration in the U.S. We're all too closely descended from immigrants.

      I see opposition whenever I suggest unlimited legal immigration, which is the most practical way to solve the illegal immigration problem. If we let all (except criminals, etc.) immigrants in, illegal immigration would be within the capabilities of DHS to tackle. That some people still object to this tells me that it's not just about the

  • by lbmouse (473316) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:33AM (#16467383) Homepage
    "Welcome to the U.S. Alejandro you are the 300 Millionth American. Your prize? Deportation. Have a nice day!"
  • Just 300M? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Honest Olaf (1011253)
    Call me when we hit 3,141,592.
  • ...my fellow Americans, and our millions of illegal aliens: It seems like just yesterday that I was strafing all your homes. Now. I'm standing here begging you not to make such good automobiles.
  • by rf0 (159958) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:46AM (#16467589) Homepage
    A quick google turned up this article

    http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/tilove092006.h tml [newhousenews.com]
  • I wonder what "Baby #300 million's" Slahshdot ID will be when it logs in for the first time.
  • by jtseng (4054) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:47AM (#16467631)
    ...And still not a girlfriend in sight. ;)
  • by massysett (910130) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:15AM (#16468095) Homepage
    I'm confused. A Washington Post story [washingtonpost.com] says that the 300 millionth American may have just walked across the Mexico border. Umm, doesn't American mean a citizen? Sure, illegal immigrants have children in the U.S. who are citizens, but last time I looked, newborns aren't walking across the border.
  • dropped out of the running. Used to be when I was a kid in the Cold War everyone always talked about how heavily outnumbered we were against the Russians. What did they have, 350 million? So it really shocked me when Russia recently said they only have 150 million. Wow. Didn't think the Baltics and Kazakhstan had that many people.

    But there's a country that should start accepting immigrants, especially from any place but China. All of Siberia's replete with oil and timber and natural resources and just
    • by BZ (40346) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:56AM (#16468967)
      > What did they have, 350 million?

      More like 290 million, at the peak of the Soviet Union.

      > Didn't think the Baltics and Kazakhstan had that many people.

      Kazakhstan has about 15 million people.

      The three baltic republics together have about 7 million.

      For reference, Ukraine has about 50 million. That's the second biggest (after Russia) population of the ex-Soviet republics.

      As I recall, Kazakhstan was third. Then Belarus with close to 10 million. Then the others.

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