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U.S. Population Hits 300 Million 492

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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  • by mi ( 197448 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:27AM (#16467257) Homepage Journal

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

  • Re:400 million (Score:3, Informative)

    by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:28AM (#16467267) Homepage
    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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:32AM (#16467345)
    Generally speaking, low income families are producing the most children. The grand ass, John [] Gibson [], used this notion to incite his viewers to have more babies, lest the Hispanics become the racial majority in the US. John Gibson is really a terrible person.
  • by rbf2000 ( 862211 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:32AM (#16467347) Homepage
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:08AM (#16467975) rchives/population/005164.html []

    "Hispanics, who may be of any race, accounted for about one-half of the national population growth of 2.9 million between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004. The Hispanic growth rate of 3.6 percent over the 12-month period was more than three times that of the total population (1.0 percent)."
  • by chewedtoothpick ( 564184 ) <chewedtoothpick@ ... UGARom minus cat> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:32AM (#16468457)
    You are down to that topsoil level maybe if you are in a desert on the opposite side of the world from the closest volcano (extinct or active.)

    Here, however, the nutritious topsoil is about 19' deep on average - some years annually growing with river deposits. Also, in California there are an estimated 1500+ very-long extinct volcanic vents which are loaded with nutritious soil thousands of feet deep. The only places in the world that have only "9 inches" of topsoil are deserts. Just because you only dig down nine inches in your San Francisco condominium and find the concrete structure below does not mean that there is only 9" of topsoil in the whole world.

    Oh, and the places in the ocean where there is no life have always had no life. Talk to any REAL marine biologist (not some liberally-biased person) and they will tell you that the oceanic population is not even 1% lower than it was hundreds of years ago (so far as they can tell)...

    While we may be overpopulated in the metropolitan areas, but I am absolutely positive that you cannot say you do not contribute to that overpopulation. Go to any truly rural area - like Montana or Alaska - and you will see that overpopulation of the planet is probably not within the grasp of our children's, children's, grandchildren's wildest imaginations.

    However, many of the richer nations (especially us Americans) are generally extremely wasteful. The true problem that you should be concerned with is NOT lack of oil, lack of food or lack of space; but generation of waste. So many of the third-world nations are even more wasteful than we Americans (have you ever seen Mexico outside of the tourist-y areas???) There needs to be a more efficient and intelligent means of waste disposal addressed. Granted there is Recycling to help, and compaction techniques are very advanced, that doesn't account for the fact that only 6% of recyclable material is actually recycled, and (estimated) around 45% of garbage is compost able.
  • by Hillgiant ( 916436 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:37AM (#16468561)
    Much more efficient to render the entire person. Plenty of fat stores that are simply not accessed with today's liposuction technologies. Any remaining proteins and carbohydrates can be converted to lipids via algae tanks. The small remaining amount of biomass can be used to fertilize crops.
  • by stretchsje ( 999497 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:44AM (#16468725)
    There exists a process that can turn just about anything carbon-based into oil []. That article was published in 2003, but a more modern article (which I can't find online) says the cost to make this oil comes out to higher than the cost of crude oil- IIRC $80-$90 a gallon. Once crude oil prices exceed the cost of manufacturing this oil, I'm sure this technology will spread rapidly. Right now, I think this and other alternative fuels are what keeps OPEC from pricing crude oil higher.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:54AM (#16468911)
    All those people? What are you talking about? The US has one of the lowest population densities in the world. It also has a lot of arable land. Not to mention that rich countries are in a better position to retool their infrastructure as the price of oil goes up. When inflation hits in the developed world, you give up luxuries so that you can meet your basic needs. In the developing world, you aren't even meeting your basic needs, so a price increase leads to starvation. People in the US, believe it or not, will car pool or take a train if they are forced to.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Must be Nutrasweet. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:26AM (#16469627) Homepage Journal
    Well that's wonderful. More food for thought: if we were all the size of hamsters, but square, with interlocking pegs on top, I could use most of the population of America to insulate my garage. That's an equally useful statement.

    Don't be foolish: just because you could concievably live in five square meters doesn't mean that you'd want to, or that you could somehow cram all the infrastructure that it takes to support a person (food production, waste management, power generation, etc.) into that space. Not to mention that unless sedated, most people would probably go batshit crazy and kill each other if forced to live like that.
  • by The Lion of Comarre ( 799695 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:59PM (#16471783)
    Less social and economic mobility; ...

    Au contraire... onOffice/newsAndEvents/archives/2005/LSE_SuttonTru st_report.htm []

    In a comparison of eight European and North American countries, Britain and the United States have the lowest social mobility
    A careful comparison reveals that the USA and Britain are at the bottom with the lowest social mobility. Norway has the greatest social mobility, followed by Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Germany is around the middle of the two extremes, and Canada was found to be much more mobile than the UK. obility.pdf []
  • Re:Nuclear (Score:4, Informative)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:19PM (#16472187)
    Carbon dioxide is hardly the only pollutant released by the burning of hydrocarbons. There's tons of waste products, including nitrogen and sulfer oxides that cause acid rain, and naturally occuring radioactive materials like uranium. While CO2 pollution my be reversible, the health and environmental damage caused by these other waste products certainly are not. Moreover, the waste products of nuclear plants are containable, while the waste products of coal plants are freely released into the biosphere. Because of this fact, coal plants actually release more radioactive material into their local environment than properly-maintained nuclear power stations. You receive more radiation living next to a coal plant, because its spewing uranium and thorium into the atmosphere, than you do living next to a nuclear plant, where the radiation is contained behind layers of shielding and safety protocols.
  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @02:00PM (#16473075) Homepage Journal
    These are from 1933. Do you think it we have reclaimed any of that lost land?
    Are you asking if we have recovered from the dust bowl? Yes, we have. And we have also learned new techniques in farming that prevent the possibility of another particularly dry and windy couple of years from causing such a disaster again.
  • by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @12:10AM (#16480735)
    Hence the wierd surges in diseases (like diabetes).

    There are two reasons for the surge in diabetes:

    1) We can diagnose and treat it. (used to be you just died of the disease after a couple years)
    2) We're living long enough eating a carbohydrate-rich diet to get Type II diabetes.

    Bring back smallpox and stop making synthetic insulin. You'll see diabetes go away, and we won't have to do anything to our food! What a great deal!

    Eventually, some portion of humans will adapt to the diet and they will do okay.

    Blah, blah, blah... remove your head from the sand. If the disease does not render you dead or infertile before 25, then resistance to the diet-caused-disease will at best be weakly selected for. Natural selection can only take place through reproduction. If you reproduce before you die, YOU WIN! Thanks for playing!
  • Re:Nuclear (Score:3, Informative)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @11:49AM (#16486123)
    If you're going to be pedantic, at least be accurate :)

    Hydrocarbon + O2 -> H2O + CO2 is a simplification. In any real combustion process, even with pure substances, you won't just get H2O and CO2, but a whole spectrum of intermediate products composed of some combination of H, C, and O. Even ideally, the precise distribution of these combustion products will depend on the stoichiometric mixture of the fuel and oxidizer, and the combustion temperature and pressure. In pratice, it'll depend on things like the local stoichiometric mix, which depends on how well-mixed your fuel and oxidizer is, as well as the vagracies of the burning process itself.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.