What is the Population of the United States of America?
Have you ever wanted to visit one of the most populous areas in the world but one with the most attractive tourist destinations? The United States is among the most populated areas in North America. Consisting of 50 states, the United States covers a vast area of 9,372,610 sq. km and a rapidly changing demographic structure.
The changing population and demographics of the United States make it one of the most dynamic countries in the world. The presence of 50 states in the US also accounts for its increasing population and shifting demographical structure. Let us take a look at the total population of the United States of America and the changing demographics of this populous nation.
The Population of the United States of America
According to the latest census, the total population of the United States of America in 2023 is 337,227,367. This total population consists of 166,480,200 males and 170,747,173 females. These figures are proof of the fact that the US is the third most populous country in the world and one with changing demographic profile.
The United States accounts for about 4.5% of the world’s total population. Since the 1950s, the population of the United States of America has more than doubled from a level of 152.3 million. In addition to doubling in size, the US population has also grown in three ways: size, age, and race.
These changes in the demographic structure of the US will have important implications for the future of the country, from an economic as well as social perspective. Let us explore each of these shifts in the demographics of the US.
Change in Population Size
Remarkable growth has been seen in the US population since 1950. While the population of the US was 152 million in 1950, it has now more than doubled to reach 337 million. This figure contains a slightly higher population of females than males. The increase of 103% in the population is huge, considering the population growth rate of other industrialized countries such as Germany and Italy, both of which experienced an increase of 21% and 30%, respectively during the same period.
Despite this growth of the total US population, the US share of the world’s population has declined since the 1950s, as less developed countries have shown a population hike more rapidly. Examples of these countries are Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria, which rank at numbers 6, 7, and 8 in the total population size, exceeding numbers from more developed nations such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and France.
Immigration is also an important factor that contributes to the increase in the size of the population. The net immigration rate has shown a positive trend since the 1950s and the rates of immigration were recorded between the range of 3 to 3.9 migrants per 1000 resident population. Moreover, the US Census Bureau projects that this net migration will continue to grow at a higher rate than the past ranges owing to advances in job opportunities.
According to the projections from the Census Bureau, the US population is likely to grow to reach almost 440 million by the year 2050. However, this growth will be at a slower pace than that recorded over the last 50 years. Nevertheless, an increase in the population size will mean a greater need for more resource allocation and economic improvement.
Change in Population Age
One of the most important demographic characteristics of a population in terms of its public policy is its age and sex structure. A “young” population structure is evident in countries where there is high fertility and rapid population growth. This calls for relevant policy considerations and the presence of schools and jobs to accommodate them. Contrary to this, an “old” population structure calls for the development of retirement and health systems.
In the first half of the 20th century, the population of the US has been relatively “young” due to high fertility, declining infant and child mortality rates, and high rates of immigration. Since 1950, however, there has been a rapid population aging and the population aged 65 and older has been increasing as a percentage of the total population. The older population represented 8.1% of the total population in 1950 and reaches 12.8% in 2009. Furthermore, it is projected to reach 20.2% in 2050. Of course, this change requires a greater emphasis on the development of retirement systems and a more robust health system.
Change in Race and Diversity
Through the years, the US population has become more racially and ethnically diverse. This is because of two factors: firstly, immigration has a major influence on the size and age structure of the US population. Although most immigrants are in the young adult age group, the US immigration policy has favored the entry of parents and other family members of these young immigrants. Secondly, most of the racial and ethnic groups are aging at different rates depending on the fertility, mortality, and immigration of these groups.
Although about 81% of the total population in the US was white in 2000, this figure is projected to fall to 74% by 2050. The increases will be seen in the categories of Asians and persons of “other races” (including American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders). It is expected that between 2000 and 2050, the number of Asians will increase by 23.7 million people, an increase of 220%, while the number of persons of “other races” is likely to increase by almost 15.8 million or 223%.
One other factor included in the change in racial structure is the change in the assimilation of language by residents of the country, income disparities, and poverty.
Let us take a look at all three:
● Assimilation of Language
Most Asian Americans in the US speak their native languages and maintain their distinct ethnic cultures and values. The flow of Latino immigrants ensures that the Spanish language and other diverse Latino cultures will grow in the US.
● Income Disparities
Among the racial/ethnic groups in the US, there are certain prevalent differences in household incomes. For example, in 2009, the real median income for a black household was $33,000, about $19,000 lower than that of a non-Hispanic white household. As a result, low-income/low-wealth persons had to face troubles when they wanted to become homeowners.
The poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3%, which was up from 13.2% in 2008. However, it was still 8.1 percentage points lower than in 1959. Additionally, in 2009, 43.6 million people were counted as poor, and the most recent increase in poverty reflects the worsening economic conditions since the start of the economic recession of December 2007. This figure is expected to remain high even after the economy recovers.
The United States of America is the third most populous country in the world with a population of 337 million. This number is likely to increase in the future, owing to the number of migrations, and a low mortality rate. Nevertheless, with this increase in population, the US must create jobs, employment opportunities, public services, hospitals, and other facilities in the country to keep itself equipped to handle the boom in population.