I should have known it was too good to be true. Upon checking my data against the U.S. Census Bureau monthly estimates, I found some inconsistency in the point in time at which I was “grabbing” the current population data. The fact is that there has been no change in the quarterly growth rate of the U.S. population since Obama took office. The growth rate continues to follow the quarterly pattern to a tee. The following is a corrected chart of the quarterly growth rate of the U.S. population:
The quarterly rate deviated from the quarterly pattern only in 2002, following the 9/11 attack.
Sorry for the error. I’ll try to be more careful and less enthusiastic when I see what seems to be an encouraging sign.