No U.S. Population Growth for Six Months?!?!

March 21, 2017

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.

U.S. Population to Hit 1 Billion by 2100?

April 29, 2008

Pray to God that our nation’s leaders come to their senses before this ever happens.  It’s imperative that they understand that economists and corporations, interested only in macroeconomic numbers like GDP, total sales volume and profits are taking this country in a direction that is destroying our quality of life and driving up unemployment and poverty. 

“‘What do we do now to start preparing for that?’ asks Arthur Nelson, co-director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, whose analysis projects that the USA will hit the 1 billion mark sometime between 2100 and 2120. ‘It’s a realistic long-term challenge.’”

Instead of wasting effort on preparing for one billion people, here’s an idea, Arthur:  start raising awareness of overpopulation and start talking about how to stabilize our population!

“‘We have a surprising amount of space in existing urban areas,’ he says. ‘We can easily triple the population in our urbanized areas with much of that growth occurring on, of all things, parking lots.’”

And thus we will then be experiencing the very effects of overpopulation that I have warned of in Five Short Blasts.  Come on, Mr. Nelson, use your head.  What will all those people do for a living when our per capita consumption falls to a fraction of today’s level.  There is no other United States we can turn to as an export market to sustain our bloated work force in the same way that other overpopulated nations use us. 

“Nelson, who will become the founding director of the Center for the New Metropolis at the University of Utah this fall, says many events from disease to famine could throw his projections off course.

‘We could certainly have a comet hit the planet and pulverize the atmosphere,’ he says. ‘But what if none of these things happen? … Do we plan on a calamity, do we assume that half the population’s planet might be wiped out? I don’t think that’s very responsible.’”

Nor do I, Mr. Nelson.  Neither is it very realistic.  That’s what led me to think beyond such scenarios to find the real limitation of human population, the collision between falling per capita consumption and rising productivity, resulting in unemployment and poverty.  It’s poverty, history’s number one killer, that will eventually get us if we’re not smart enough to take action now. 

Somewhere, God is looking down on us and just shaking his head.