How Has the US Population Changed over Time?

The population of the United States has increased by almost 8,000 percent since the late 1700s, growing from about 4 million people to more than 310 million people as of 2011. In the year 1800, the U.S. population was a little more than 5 million, which is about 3 million less than the 2011 population of New York City alone. From 1960 to 2010, the U.S. population grew at a rate of 20 million to 30 million people every decade.

More facts about the U.S. population:

  • The first U.S. census was taken in 1790 and reported an estimated 3,900,000 people. By January 1920, the U.S. population had reached 100 million people.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2050, the U.S. population will have increased an additional 46 percent over 2007. That would make the U.S. population in 2050 about 440 million people.

  • As of 2011, the U.S. had more than 50 metropolitan areas that had more than 1 million residents.

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