With fertility rate close to replacement level and continuously high immigration the US population grew by 9.7 percent over the last decade – uniquely high for a western country.
With ‘just’ 27.3 million new Americans the population growth between 2000 and 2010 was actually somewhat lower than during the 90s, when 32.7 million new citizens were greeted. Although something of this downward trend continues the US demographics remain exceptional among industrialised nations – with another 13 percent population growth forecast over the period 2010 to 2025.
In 2010 there were 308,745,538 people with an American passport. In 2025 that number will be close to 349 million people.
High birth rates, high immigration
The United States are one of few developed nations with birth rates close to replacement levels. In order for an isolated population to remain at a constant volume, with healthiest age demographics and without ageing associated problems, required birth rate is estimated to be at 2.1 children per woman. In the US over the past decade birth rate came very close with 2.06 children per woman, much higher than all other big developed nations – for instance the European countries or countries like Japan and Taiwan.
As the natural replacement is also complemented with immigration the US population is estimated to grow by 22 percent over the next 15 years, according to figures by the US Population Reference Bureau, presented during the December 2010 Census. Countries like Germany, Russia and Japan will see an actual population decline over that same period.
Fast growing populations elsewhere
Population growth in Africa and the Islamic world is world highest, with, according to UN Population Division figures, Liberia currently leading the way, followed by Burundi as second and Afghanistan as third. Over the period 2005 to 2010 the annual population growth in Liberia lies at 4.50 percent. In Afghanistan annual population growth over that same period was 3.85 percent. Other remarkable nations are the Palestinian territories, with annual population growth at 3.18 percent over the last 5 years, ranking 10th, and the United Arab Emirates, ranking 19th with an annual population growth of 2.85. The CIA World Factbook ranks UAE as first place in first place in 2009, with a population growth of 3.69 percent in that one year.
For comparison, the US ranks 131st on the UN list, with an annual growth of 0.97 percent over 2005-2010.
Germany ranks 211th, with an annual population decline of 0.07 percent, surpassing Japan with a decline of 0.02 percent. Of the biggest industrialised nations only Russia sees a faster decline, ranking 221st on the UN list with an annual population growth of -0.51 percent.
Meanwhile the Chinese population is expected to reach 1.4 billion within a decade – with the country easing down on birth restrictions.
© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org