The population of the US is a little over 300 million right now; likely it will double, about 600 million, in the decades before the turn of the century. All population projections are just that, projections, relying on certain assumptions about birth and death rates, immigration and changes in demographics that can only be extrapolated from what we know today. The US Census bureau has made a projection that US population may be as high as 1.2 billion by the beginning of the 22nd century, meaning that we’d pass the 600 million mark sometime between 2050 (when the population is expected to be 522 million, excluding large-scale immigration) and 2100. Personally, based on the faultiness of past projections, I would expect the population to increase faster, especially since the census models do not take potential immigration into account. I think it’s possible we could see 600 million Americans by 2050. Keep in mind that it’s not just birth, death and immigration rates that count–the definition of who is an American may well change, which is well to keep in mind as you see that population projections are often used as statistics in political statements urging this or that policy regarding immigration reform.
The term natural growth rate refers to a country’s ratio of births to deaths, and does not include migration. The term overall growth rate does include migration. The predicted doubling time for a population is calculated by taking the number 70 (derived from the natural log of 2) divided by the overall growth rate. In 2009, the overall growth rate for the U.S. was rated at .975%. This yields an approximate doubling time of 72 years, which would indicate the year 2081. That answer is oversimplified; a more accurate equation would have to take into account a graph of the overall growth rate over time and replace .975 with a predicted average between now and what the growth rate will be at the doubling time. Like the previous answer pointed out, this still wouldn’t account for several complex factors.
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