As part of my monthly calculation of the size of the actual labor force (for the purpose of analyzing the monthly employment report), I use the U.S. population as determined by the “Population Clock” on the home page of the U.S. Census Bureau. As I write this, it stands at 324.73 million. This figure typically grows at the rate of about 180,000 per month. That’s a scary rate of population growth. The U.N. estimates that half of all world population growth by 2050 will be caused by the growth of the population in only eight nations – seven third world nations and – you guessed it – the United States, the only developed nation that continues to experience third-world-like population growth.
But I’ve noticed something strange in the last six months, and especially since the beginning of the year. In December, the population clock actually fell back by almost 600,000. Since then, the population has been growing at a rate of only about 80,000 per month. Today, it stands at almost exactly the same level as it did at the end of September.
This is great news, but I suspect that some of the reason for the slowdown is not good news. You may recall that sometime back around December, the CDC announced that death rates in the U.S. were rising while life expectancy had actually declined slightly. But there’s some really great news too. Illegal immigrants are being deported and the entry of new illegal immigrants has slowed dramatically. Even legal immigration has slowed since Trump took office.
Although it’s still early in this new trend, a couple of observations are in order:
- Most economists predict economic gloom and doom to accompany a lack of population growth. Contrary to that, the U.S. economy has experienced its best growth in many years in the past six months. A brightening economic outlook is one of the outcomes I predicted in Five Short Blasts that would accompany a stabilizing or even declining U.S. population.
- A rising death rate is another outcome that I predicted in my book for nations whose population densities continue to grow beyond a critical level, driven by rising unemployment and poverty.
This is all something I’ll be watching closely as immigration continues to slow dramatically during the Trump administration.