300 Million Mark

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Sometime in the next month, a baby will be born, an umbilical cord cut, and the population of the United States will hit 300 million. It's been a long time coming, since this was a vast continent of tepees and forest trails.

But now, uniquely among the world's richest nations, America's population is surging. Only India and China are bigger. We hit 200 million in 1967. 300 million any day now. And 400 million is projected in less than 40 years.

On the emptying Great Plains, they may be wondering "where's the boom?" But on the coasts, the south and west, Americans are living it.

As the US population hits 300 million, hear what that number means for the country.

Quotes from the Show:

"The 300th million person will be a male baby born to a Mexican mother in the Los Angeles area around October 17, 2006." William Frey

"Half of the population growth in any year or any month in the US is Hispanic." William Frey

"The US is different from the rest of the developed countries in its population growth." Martha Farnsworth Riche

"It's the Hispanic immigrants who are bringing the higher fertility rates with them in this country." Martha Farnsworth Riche

"Immigration is bringing youth to this country ... which will bode well for our future." William Frey

"From an economic point of view, this growth is very good news for the U.S." Michael Mandel


William Frey, Visitng Fellow at Brookings Institution and Research Professor at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.

Martha Farnsworth Riche, Fellow at the Center for the Study of Economy and Society at Cornell University and former Director of the U.S. Census Bureau (1994 and 1998).

Victoria Markham, Environmental Scientist and Director of the Center for Environment and Population.

Michael Mandel, Chief Economist at BusinessWeek magazine.

This program aired on September 27, 2006.


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