Census Bureau Releases Projections For America’s Population Growth in the Next Decade

Projections For America’s Population Growth in the Next Decade

The Census Bureau is out with new projections for America’s population growth, and they aren’t good. The agency says the nation’s natural increase — the excess of births over deaths, excluding immigration and euthanasia — is expected to go negative by 2038, due to falling fertility and aging. The population is expected to start growing again only in 2040, if current trends continue, and then only at a modest rate.

The agency also projects that the country’s overall birth rate will decline even further, from an average of 2.1 children per woman in 2022 to less than 2.0 by 2100. That is significantly below the replacement level fertility rate of 2.1, the number of children needed to replace each deceased person.

Without continued immigration, the national population will grow only very slowly, if at all. The Census Bureau projects that the current 396 million America will grow to 438 million in 2050, with new immigration accounting for 82% of that gain. That includes 142 million foreign-born people who have arrived since 2005 and their U.S.-born descendants. The agency’s main projection assumes that immigration levels will remain roughly what they are today, although it offers two alternatives based on lower and higher levels of immigration.

Census Bureau Releases Projections For America’s Population Growth in the Next Decade

As the population grows older, the proportion of people ages 85 and up is expected to increase rapidly. That age group accounted for less than 2% of the population in 2022, but the number is expected to grow to 17 million by 2050 and to 27 million by 2100. The population of Americans ages 100 and up is also expected to grow by more than fourfold, from just under 6.5 million in 2022 to nearly 27 million in 2100.

The Census Bureau issues annual provisional population estimates based on the previous decennial census, as well as data on births, deaths and migration/immigration. Every decade, the agency reconciles those numbers and releases final data (known as “intercensal estimates”). None of these estimates should be treated as predictions, however. The projections are based on assumptions about future economic and social conditions, as well as natural and unnatural events.

America, the land of opportunity, the beacon of freedom, and the melting pot of cultures, is a nation that captivates the imagination of people worldwide. Spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific, America’s story is a complex tapestry woven with threads of triumphs, struggles, and diversity. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence laid the groundwork for a nation that would evolve into a global superpower, shaping the course of history in the process.

For instance, the projections don’t take into account expected climate change or unexpected catastrophes such as major wars or deadly pandemics. Still, the agency’s projections are an important analytical tool for public policymakers and business leaders. They help them assess the impact of demographic change on tax revenue, government spending and the labor force. They can also inform planning for retirement, medical care and other social security programs. And they can give business a sense of the potential size of consumer markets in the United States.

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