U.S. population: 315 million and slowing
America's population is growing at a slower pace than was previously projected, the Census Bureau says.
December 28th, 2012
09:26 AM ET

U.S. population: 315 million and slowing

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - 315,091,138.

That's what the Census Bureau projects will be the population of the United States on New Year's Day. The number of people increased by 2,272,462 or 0.73% since the last time a population snapshot was taken - April 1, 2010.

In January, America can expect one birth every eight seconds and one death every 12 seconds.

America's population is growing at a slower pace than was previously projected, the Census Bureau said. One reason is lower birth rates starting in 2008, when the economy soured. Lower immigration numbers have also affected the population.

The U.S. population is now projected to be around 399.8 million by 2050, far short of the 439 million that was projected four years ago.

"When we add up the numbers, 24.4 million fewer migrants plus 17.8 million fewer births minus 4.6 million fewer deaths plus 1.6 million difference in the estimates of the population for the population in 2011, we arrive at the total difference of 39.2 million," the Census Bureau said.

That's a whole lotta numbers. But we get the picture. We won't be catching up with China anytime soon.

Posted by
Filed under: Immigration • Population • Who we are
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Nathan

    Subhumans? You're just as bad as Hitler. I hope you were joking. But even if you were, that's a deplorable comment to make.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck88888

      Nathan, obviously he/she is a troll. Eliminate the space b/w the first and last name and the "n" word appears. CNN moderators are not too quick.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mitchlabuda

    The population numbers will rise when the economy improves and then more people will place more demands on the country and we want less with more people putting more demand on the system.

    December 30, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. they are serious?

    Hate to have to point this out buut ..... This country's problems stem from polit itions selling out america for their own gain (hillary and bill), bankers directly in control of the money supply (the Fed), Wall Street scams, and corporations owning the political arena...... most (id say 90%) are white.

    That is the source of our problems.... funny thing is the Founding Fathers saw this coming...warned us NOT to do exactly what we are doing now....

    December 29, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michael John Anthony

    It's not a "whole lot" of numbers. It was 5 numbers.

    December 29, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. Peter Q Wolfe

    What in the Hell is wrong with people in the lower socioeconomic level having children especially in the impoverished south? I live here and happen to be poor for now but people are here are having child after child and they cannot even take care of themselves. It is clear to me that the people least able to afford it or unable including the disabled like me should be eugenicized like 2nd and 3rd/4th World citizens should be as well.

    December 29, 2012 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankhy

      You do realize that the aging demography and the declining population is the second biggest problem facing the world in the 21st century, right? (after climate change of course). Every nation needs more kids. Doesn't matter what socioeconomic group they come from, just make sure we get them, or society will collapse as the Big Population Crunch eliminate any incentive or engine for investment. An economy based on old people in Florida condos won't make much of an economy.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. realreason

    multiple kids also problem with insurance costs.. child premium is one set amount, no matter how many dependents added. so parent with 9 kids pays same cost as parent with one kid. well that and illegals crossing or visiting to have kids here so automatic citizenship and skip out on bill. want to make instant and easy change to curb illegal immigration, ask your representative to push for end of automatic citizenship just because born in the states, unless at least one parent is legal [also, hospitals not handle paperwork when applying, completed at local social security office]. that will help with population growth, benefit programs, education budget, and tax deductions as someone else mentioned.. its endless.

    December 29, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. jon

    Seems like every year someone I know is being diagnosed with cancer now. Yeah, growth is slowing because people are dying off. One guy I know was even diagnosed with three different types of cancer at the same time. Everything we ingest now seems to be loaded with carcinogens. Most of your artificial coloring is made from petroleum, and artificial flavoring from coal. Then they started pretty much putting Windex in our freakin beef. Hooray for the FDA.

    December 29, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankhy

      Possibly the most anecdotal evidence ever presented.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. American Patriot

    Mexicans are taking over and you say the growth rate is slowing? Really? These illegals having 4+ kids and taking EVERYTHING given to them, while our stupid Liberal Government and idiots pander to them. I'm sickened by this f'd up Country that I was born in.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Please leave then. It will raise the average IQ considerably.

      December 29, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Missaness

      Please leave the country you troll. Racism isn't appreciated.

      December 29, 2012 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Actually, racists like you are more unwanted than anyone else. Are you a KKK member?

      January 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. American Patriot

    Yeah I call BS on this. Have you noticed the Mexican invasion? How many of these Mexicans are having 4+ kids on average, and are ILLEGAL, at that? How quickly they are TAKING OVER? This article must have been written by a Latino.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • G23777

      I bet the Native Americans were as angry as you are about the American invasion.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • John Rebello

        I'm sure the North American Native Americans weren't happy about losing their culture and land but what has that to do with regulating immigration into the United States now? What happened to the Native Americans is a tragedy but it is no arguement for open borders.

        January 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • G23777

        I'm all for controlling illegal immigration, but for this guy to get angry and claim that Mexicans are taking over doesn't make any sense. First of all, I highly doubt Mexicans are going to take over America. Sure, there's a whole lot of them here, but let's be honest, Mexico would never win against America. So this guy is paranoid and angry over something that is NOT happening ("Mexican invasion"), but DID happen to the Native Americans.

        January 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ChunkyLightning

    Well for one, maybe that isn't such a bad thing! People act like the economy and population can grow forever which has zero possibility! Although like oil they know that there is only so much they act like reality doesn't exist. The U.S. is not the country that people romanticize it to be. It was the land of opportunity and possibility back when the population was so small that the government gave land away. Now it's much more like the overcrowded countries those people left. No new farm land is going to be discovered it's just being eaten away by sprawl!

    December 29, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      Exactly. There is a finite amount of arable land. We will eventually have to stop population growth on our own or nature will do it for us.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. KEVIN2121961

    Reason for slow down in population growth? Ans. Texting. The youth are not meeting face to face and procreating.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ethan

      Wrong. It's because my generation is saddled with debt and having kids when you're so far in the hole is unthinkable.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed T Duck

      No, it's because fewer immigrants are here and having kids. Immigrants were the driving force to population growth over the last 20 or so years.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andy H.

    I think we will pass 350 million. The thing about china vs US, is that most of our population lives above the poverty line, whereas in china most live below it.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Whome

    My guess would be that we are killing more babies through abortions.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      so what?

      December 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • pplr

        Because denying younger people a chance to live a life like you have right now is usually unfair and a bad thing.

        December 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela Birch

      Or we are using Birth Control and not getting pregnant.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. spent

    Legals are not having kids because we accept and pay for illegals so it is hard to imagine that the population is down.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela Birch

      Actually if Americans are deciding not to have chilren because illegal aliens do have children Americans didn't want children much and it is probably just as well that they don't have children. Children should be wanted and loved by their parents. I think it is partially because of the economy and partially because it is more socially acceptable just to not have children. By the way children who are born in the US are Americans no matter who their parents are.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. geeworker

    this is based off questions answered from a form that we filled out.. Problem with this is when the census was conducted organization were telling groups of people not to fill out the form correctly in protest of the US immigration policy

    so the number mean nothing

    December 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  16. jreb

    We have already started the planet off on a course of climate change with our current population. It's going to take more than a decrease in birth rate to undue the damage done.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • pplr

      It is not population that does global warming. Stop looking at that Population Bomb screwup and look at all the machines people run every day and how many of those machines are powered by fossil fuels.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael John Anthony

        It's both. More people = more toasters, more cars, more air conditioners, more CO2 exhaled.

        December 29, 2012 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
      • jreb

        To ignore the impact that population has on the environment is irresponsible. One has only to look at the devastation being wrought on the environment in 3rd world countries—deforestation, pollution, species extinction, scarcity of food and water resources to know that it is more than technology that is adversely affecting the planet Earth. Even if human beings could live in a more sustainable way (and we have shown little willingness to do so) without controlling population levels environment degradation and species extinction will continue to occur.

        December 29, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  17. keith

    Lets hear it for planned pregnancies!!!

    December 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Stepnfetchit

    Where I live, America looks like a sewer that has exploded.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Observator

    Resource-wise, declining population growth is good. Economics-wise, declining population growth is bad.

    December 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick C.

      The economic model we currently follow is both unsustainable and human contrived. It has no basis in science and completely ignores all natural laws.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Andy H.

        Rick C, i totally agree. Ideally the earth's population with today's demand on resources should be around 2 billion. We have been turning oil into people for 100 years, it is totally unsustainable.

        December 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayInBatonRouge

      Resource-wise, population growth is GOOD. Our most precious resource is our people!

      We need more people to help us figure out where to get more resources from, e.g. more oil and more solar and more wind. We're using more than ever before, but we're also finding more than ever before. (e.g. we now know that the state of Colorado is more oil-rich than Saudi Arabia, we just have to dig deeper to get at it)

      And economy-wise, we need more people to create more jobs. So population growth is good for that too.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • jreb

        Just to address one of your interesting comments:
        Never mind, that burning more fossil fuels will only make climate change worse, the oil in Saudi Arabia and the “oil” we speak of in Colorado are vastly different. In Saudi Arabia, one could just drill a hole in the ground and have oil gushing out; the process for shale oil found in Colorado is quite different. To quote from Michael Ruppert’s book, Confronting Collapse:
        One problem is that there is no oil in oil shale. It is a material called kerogen. The
        shale has to be mined, transported, heated to about 45000C (8500 F), and have hydrogen added to the product to make it flow. The shale pops like popcorn when heated so the resulting volume is larger than when it was first mined. The waste disposal problem is large. Net energy recovery is low at best. It also takes several barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil. The largest shale oil deposits in the world are in Colorado Plateau, a markedly water poor region. …

        December 29, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  20. CatSh

    It's going to be interesting to see how we adapt to slowing population growth in an economy that depends on growth.

    December 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  21. brown

    STOP fornicating!

    December 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael John Anthony

      You can see us?

      December 29, 2012 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  22. FactChecker

    This is good news! The sooner we get to zero or negative population growth, the less we need to worry about using up non-replaceable resources.

    December 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  23. AfrosSuck

    Good. Most Americans are trash anyway!

    December 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BSack

      You call the same country that provides money and food to you trash? Seems hurtful little boy.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  24. hahaha

    geez,slowing. how about taken into account of people no longer looking towards marriage and kids because of gays and lesbians. guys don't want to be just sperm donors. prolly assuming rejection
    or crazy psycho unstable women betting on child support with divorce waiting to happen. and the ones that do. good luck. add obama care, screwed up taxes, pending recession, conflicts with gun banning, yet armed guards at school. situation outlook at this present time, not stable. not goos.

    December 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shri

      Seems like you are mad at people that do not follow your ideology. Too bad people can disagree with your ideas of life and still be good people.

      December 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • FactChecker

      So much concentrated hatred! You might spontaneously combust.

      December 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • keith

      Nothing that you wrote makes any sense. I don't even know if it qualifies as a coherent thought.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  25. ohio

    I totally agree with the commentor-the baby boomers are older now. They were the big families.
    That is just not happening on the same scale now. culturally or financially.

    December 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldean50

      it isn't really baby boomers per se or the size of old families – The growth is exponential. Just two children might create four grandchildren, eight grandchildren, then 16 great grandchildren, etc.

      December 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sodajerk

        Exponential? Only if people aren't dying. Remember – if you have 2 kids, you're just replacing you and your spouse. Or brood sow, whatever. Yes the next generation would be four, but again, each of the kids is replacing themselves and their spouse. And so on. So, long-term the population flattens. There will be growth for awhile, and then as the older generations die off, the rate of growth slows to zero.

        December 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • ldean50

        to sodajerk... Yes. Exponentially. For every 8 deaths in the U.S, there are 14 births. Worldwide its 8 to 20 births.
        And as for your crack about immigrants. We're ALL immigrants. The Native American population has dwindled to 2 million – including Eskimos and Native Hawaiians. So, what's your point?

        December 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomCom

      Agree, I still have a few friends that have 4 or 5 kids though. I think the norm is 2 or 3.

      December 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  26. ldean50

    We don't have the natural resources to support the expected exponential growth: think about this;
    1900 – roughly 1 million: it took 53 years to hit 2 million – that was in
    1968 – we hit 2 million. It only took 38 years to go to 3 million, and that was in

    December 28, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldean50

      ... uh, those numbers were meant to be in hundred millions – 100 million, 200 million, 300 million. My bad

      December 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sodajerk

        Feel free to confirm, but I think more growth comes from immigration (or births from immigrants) than births from the extant population. So, if you're that concerned, can always shut the flow. Dumb idea, but you could...

        December 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      We have the natural resources to handle a lot more.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Walter

    Slowing? We need to start a full-scale lowering of the population. There will never ever be enough jobs for the people we've got now, and even a small increase will just make matters worse.

    December 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Karen

    Trust me, we do NOT want to be like China. We should all want to protect the planet by not overpopulating it!

    December 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • gary

      yes! we may have too many for the planet to support now

      December 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  29. david

    Today, I feel like a foreigner in my own country. I am not talking about the 12 million illegals either.

    December 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • thesupermodelproject

      What are you talking about exactly?

      December 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Shane

    This is actually a good thing. Eventually the human race is going to need to hit a zero population growth to sustain what we have (which we probably need a decrease in population to really sustain it).

    December 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Pete

    100 million or less should be a goal.

    December 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  32. mesaman

    Stop Breeding!

    December 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  33. bencoates57

    And yet there are 700 million dogs. We need to take care of that.

    December 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. outawork

    I guess someone finally figured out the government handouts aren't going to last forever.

    December 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sane Person

      Yup. 17.8 Million babies decided not to be born because they werent going to get a free phone from Obama in 18 years.

      December 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldean50

      You're both off-base. Only 4% of Americans receive what you call "wellfare." The "welfare" system ended under the Clinton administration. What we have today are rent and food subsidies – limited – a five year life time limit. For example. The vast majority of subsidies are the WORKING poor – people with children making minimum wage, and it isn't even 1% of the total population of the U.S. As for Medicaid? – that's only .03 % of the population that receives that – point zero three. That's three tenths of a percent for the resenters out there. In order to qualify, you have to be in most counties, 150% below the poverty line in your county – poorest of the poor. I don't want to read another falsehood that half the country is on welfare. Go read a dang book. signed, overworked and underpaid social service worker that loves her job

      December 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • ldean50

        And while I'm here... another FOX news lie... women having children just to get more welfare/tax breaks. Child deductions on your Federal Income Tax return has a limit – TWO! doesn't matter how many dam children you have.

        December 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • JayInBatonRouge

        Not true about the child tax deduction – you can get a $1000 refundable child tax credit for at least 9 kids. I know because that's how many I have. These were introduced by GW Bush and have been extended by Obama (at least to me, since I make less than $250K per year). Silly way to run a country, but there you have it. My opinion: shrink the Fed overall. Lower taxes, lower tax credits, lower spending.

        December 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  35. J G

    In entirely unrelated news, the U.S. has deported more illegal immigrants over the past two years than ever before! And there are fewer Mormons and Catholics in the U.S.

    December 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barb

      Actually, he's put more into boarder protection than most any other president, including GWB.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • dulcimer172

        Indeed, We now have ZERO NET MIGRATION from Mexico. But people don't want to know that. To be fair, migration has been dropping for the last 10 years – it's not just the current administration. Although his idea to start with those who commit crimes after entering this country is shocking some "patriots".

        December 29, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • paulronco

      Barb, don't confuse them with facts. It only makes them more dangerous.

      December 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  36. priscusnutura

    This should have been obvious. The majority of the Baby Boomers have stopped having kids. Generations X and Y put less of an emphasis on raising large families.

    Not hard to see this coming, even with a Global recession

    December 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  37. buzz

    What up Catholics?

    December 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Not every Catholic listens to the Pope

      December 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jeremy B

        Well I guess that means they are not catholic then.

        December 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Zach Ewan

    Perhaps abortion should factor in there somewhere? You figure the murder of 16 million American children would have more of an impact than presented in these statistics.

    December 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • p-jay

      if a baby is stillborn, is that suicide then? 'cause that would change statistics like WOAH. stop calling abortions murders or stop eating eggs for breakfast. 'cause all those murdered chicken babies... all those chicken babies who never had a chance to grow..... oh my...

      December 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • me

        most chicken eggs aren't fertilized…especially the ones you get from the grocery store

        December 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Two Eight

    U.S. population slowing......now THIS is good news.

    December 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Not if you're counting on social security.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad76

      300 million people spread out over an entire continent is nothing. IF you want real good news you'd want to hear that coming out of China or India. If the the North American population was in the billions then I'd start celebrating population reduction. Again, 300 million people is really nothing at all. Once the baby boomers pass on I fully expect to see the population of North America decline steadily for many years after.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jarbo

        300 million is not "nothing" when you consider the huge impact of each and every person on the environment, the pollution each person creates, the number of acres and thousands of gallons needed to raise the corn needed feed the cows each person eats and whose milk he/she drinks, and on, and on.

        We are stealing resources from future generations and it's unsustainable. To continue living like we're living - without even taking into account population growth - it would take 10 Earths.

        December 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • toydrum

        You may be right, but if this happens, there won't be anybody to pay for social security or medicare for the following generations. Social security reform is everyone's problem.

        December 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • jreb

        The idea of needing each generation to be bigger than the previous to support SSN is called a Ponzi scheme. Not only is it unsustainable and does not ultimately address our problems but it will ensure environmental collapse.

        December 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |