In this chart, the green area represents the natural population growth of America since 1970, if the number of immigrants arriving each year since had been the same as the number of Americans permanently moving away (currently that is an estimated 225,000).
The red area shows the phenomenal population growth being fueled by the federal government's immigration policies. The red represents all the immigrants who have arrived -- or are projected to arrive -- since 1970, plus their descendants, minus deaths. Of the around 190 million people projected to be added to the United States by 2050, around 90% are represented in the red block on the chart. To find similar population growth in foreign countries, we must look to the Third World.
Frequently asked questions:
How can I change this trend?
If you join with thousands of other Americans in communicating with Congress, the federal government's coercive population growth program definitely can be changed. The NumbersUSA website offers many tools to help you change the federal population-growth policy:
- Register to read Action Alerts about pending actions in Washington that may affect immigration numbers. Pre-written messages to targeted Members of Congress are provided. Just click on the "SEND" icon and your message will be faxed for free.
- Read about legislation that would change immigration numbers. See which Members of Congress have co-sponsored the bills.
- Work with groups which are challenging current immigration numbers. Go to our GROUPS section, which is the nation's most complete listing of groups taking a stand for immigration.
- Familiarize yourself with the detailed history of a Senator's or Representative's immigration actions. Talk to those Members about what they have done well in the past and how they could help in the future.
Where does this data come from?
Demographer Leon Bouvier of Tulane University did the computation for the green block by assuming that nobody left the country or immigrated to it and then he simply:
1. Took the population size of each gender and age cohort living in the U.S. in 1970, as provided by the U.S. Bureau of Census.
2. And applied the actual annual fertility and mortality rates to those cohorts to find the growth of the 1970-stock Americans.
What may surprise many people is that there was so much native population growth (the green block) even though the fertility rate of Americans has been below the replacement level ever since 1972.
Why would natural population growth continue even after the fertility rate falls below replacement levels?
Well, it takes decades for a country's population to stabilize after women adopt a family size that is on average 2.1 children. Their children have to finish having their children. Those children have to have their babies and the original mothers have to die off before full stabilization occurs.
A country that wants to stabilize its population has to start around 70 years in advance if fertility drops only to the 2.1 replacement level. Americans have had fertility since 1972 that is somewhat below replacement level. So stabilization could occur a bit sooner.
But even during the 70-year wait for stabilization, a country is able to enjoy substantially reduced population growth. That means the country can enjoy the resulting lowered demands for expanded infrastructure and mass urban development of farmland and natural habitat.
Americans, however, can enjoy none of that, thanks to Congress and its incredible increase in immigration.
How does this growth compare with the Great Wave of Immigration?
The Great Wave of Immigration began in 1880 but exploded into peak numbers during the first decade of the century. The massive numbers of immigrants reached a cumulative total that began to substantially change the character of the entire country from one primarily of towns and farms into one of densely packed urban centers. This decade saw more growth than any previous decade in U.S. history. The rapid population growth was destroying huge sections of the country's once bountiful natural resources, leading to the establishment of federal systems of parks and other preservation programs.
World War I slowed immigration considerably during the middle of the decade. But high immigration at the beginning and end, and high immigrant and native fertility, kept total population growth high.
Americans of nearly every station in life rose up in revulsion at the incredible pace of change and congestion caused by the previous two decades of immigration-driven population growth. By 1925, Congress had reduced immigration numbers toward more traditional levels. The annual population growth rate at the end of the decade had been cut almost in half from the beginning. But very high immigration of the first half of the decade, and the momentum caused by the high fertility of the greatly enlarged population, helped the 1920s to set yet another record for highest population growth.
How does this growth compare with the Baby Boom?
After the end of World War II in 1945, immigration grew back toward traditional levels and Americans began to create very large families. The giant spike in fertility came to be known as the Baby Boom, a demographic phenomenon that changed every aspect of American society and that continues to drive a lot of the social and political agenda to this day.
This was the peak of the Baby Boom, adding nearly the equivalent of the entire U.S. population at the time of the Civil War. Combined with other factors, this led to an enormous conversion of farmland and natural habitats into sprawling suburbs. This new record for the biggest population boom ever was widely thought to be a special phenomenon reflecting pent-up pressures from the Depression and the war and one that would never be repeated or exceeded.
Exhausted from years of frantic efforts to expand the nation's infrastructure to handle its large families and burgeoning population, Americans rapidly reduced their fertility through the last decade of the Baby Boom. The growth rate at the end of the decade was a third lower than at the beginning. A vigorous social and political movement emerged calling for Americans to keep their fertility to a replacement level rate to enable the country to eventually stabilize its population.
Why do these charts start at the 203-million level
These charts are about growth. They are not about the total U.S. population -- except tangentially -- but about any additional growth in that population.
Astute chart readers are conditioned to raise questions when they see charts that start somewhere other than at zero. By picking a starting point proportionately far above zero, a chartmaker may be able to distort the impression of the information being portrayed.
But that is not what is happening here.
Because these charts are about population growth -- and because there were 203 million people in this country in 1970 -- they reveal only the U.S. population above 203 million.
While the 203 million people who are not shown here play a role in plans for roads, schools, parks, sewers and other infrastructure, it is the addition of residents that creates the greatest challenges.
These charts focus on the millions of people who are being added to the roads, schools, parks, and laborforce.
This information comes from the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
To find similar population growth in foreign countries, we must look to the Third World.
Although its frontiers were declared closed a century ago, the United States today is adding population at a numerical level just under the phenomenal Baby Boom, which far exceeded all other periods of U.S. population growth.