Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Over-Populated. Are We There Yet?

Should we wait until all the US is this crowded?On the U.S. Census Bureau web site there is a paper written in 2000 that attempts to project the population of the United States through the year 2100. As you can imagine, this is a difficult task, but they do it in a well described, scientific manner. They have to make a large number of estimates about birth rates, mortality rates and migration rates. They ended up with three series of projections based on these estimates using a low, medium (middle) and high rate of population growth (see paper here).

The lowest projection has the population of the U.S. rising to about 313 million by 2050 and then falling to about 282 million by 2100. The middle series projects the population of the United States to continue to grow and reach about 571 million by 2100. The highest series (which I believe is based on a high immigration rate) has the population reaching about 1.18 BILLION by 2100.

Who knows what the actual population of the United States will be in 2100, but what these projections do show is that given the right (or wrong) circumstances, the population of the United States could increase dramatically over the coming decades.

What do you think would be the affects of a population roughly four times the current population of about 302 million people? Would a U.S. population of 1.18 billion be better than a population of 282 million people?

While few of us will see the year 2100, our actions will help determine the future population of the United States. Shouldn't we review the facts and determine what we believe would be the ideal population of the United States and then work to achieve that goal?

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