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United States Population By Year

By Geoffrey Migiro February 05 2020

Chart of US population by year and comparison of population to time of independence
Chart of US population by year and comparison of population to time of independence

The United States is the world's fourth (or third) largest country depending on measurements. The US is composed of 5 main self-governing territories, a federal district, and 50 states. The Federal district and 48 states are in the contiguous United States while Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean and Alaska in the northwestern corner of the North American continent. The US shares a maritime boundary with the Bahamas, Russia, and Cuba and land borders with Mexico and Canada. The Canadian-American border is the longest bi-national land boundary on the planet. The United States is the world’s third-most populated nation with a population of approximately 331,883,986.

The Population Of The US

The United States has an estimated population of approximately 331,883,986 residents with a net population gain of about 3,600 individuals per day. The country’s population almost quadrupled from 1900 (76.2 million) to 2000 (281.4 million). Unlike India and China, the US is the only leading industrialized country where high population growth is still being projected. The country’s birth rate was 7.04 children per woman in 1800s, and by 2018 it had reduced to 1.73 births per woman. The country experienced a population growth rate of about 0.8% in 2018. The U.S. had a death rate of about 8.2 deaths per 1,000 people and a birth rate of 12.4 births per 1,000 people.

Immigration has caused the country’s population to increase with the number of foreigners living in the U.S. rising from 1990 (20 million) to 2015 (45 million). Foreign-born immigration was responsible for a third of the population increase from 1990 to 2015. There were more than 90 million immigrants and children of immigrants in 2018 in the United States, accounting for over 28% of the country’s population. Over 18.62% of the residents are below 14 years old, while 16.03% are over 65 years old. 39.29% of the residents are between 25 yeaBy rs and 54 years old.

What was the Population of the US in 1776?

While the first official United Census occurred on August 2, 1790, colonial and pre-federal statistics estimate the population was about 2.5 million people living in the 13 colonies of the United States in 1776. Philidelphia was the largest city at the time with an approximate population of 40,000  followed by New York  (25,000) Boston (15,000) and Charleston (12,000). The United States is more than 130 times larger today. 

Ethnicity

The United States is a multicultural country. 14.7% of the country cites German heritage, 12.30% are of Black descent, 10.90% are Mexican, and 10.60% are Irish. 

Languages

The de facto national language of the United States is English, which was used by over 78.2% of the Americans above 5 years old (over 230 million) as their only language at home in 2018. The second-most common language in the United States which was used by over 13.4% of the residents in 2018 is Spanish. The United States does not have an official language, but English is recognized by 32 states. 

United States Population Over Time

Census Population
1610350
16202,302
16304,646
164026,634
165050,368
166075,058
1670111,935
1680151,507
1690210,372
1700250,888
1710331,711
1720466,185
1730629,445
1740905,563
17501,170,760
17601,593,625
17702,148,076
17802,780,369
17903,929,214
18005,308,483
18107,239,881
18209,638,453
183012,866,020
184017,069,453
185023,191,876
186031,443,321
187038,558,371
188050,189,209
189062,979,766
190076,212,168
191092,228,496
1920106,021,537
1930123,202,624
1940132,164,569
1950151,325,798
1960179,323,175
1970203,211,926
1980226,545,805
1990248,709,873
2000281,421,906
2010308,745,538
Next Census Projection332,639,000

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