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|U.S. population hits 300 million
Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. population reached the historic milestone of 300
million on Tuesday morning, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Population
population clock of the U.S. Census Bureau indicates the number of 300
million in Washington D.C., Oct. 17, 2006. The population of the US
officially hit 300 million at 7:46 a.m. (1146 GMT) on Tuesday. (Xinhua
The "Population Clock" recorded the milestone at 7:46
a.m. EDT (1146 GMT) -- a timing based on calculations that factor birth and
death rates and migration.
According to the most recent national population
estimates, the United States registers one birth every seven seconds and one
death every 13 seconds, while net international migration is expected to add one
person every 31 seconds. The result is an increase in the total population of
one person every 11 seconds.
The Census Bureau said that with that formula in
mind, it is near impossible to determine whether the 300th million resident will
be a newborn, an immigrant coming across the border or someone flying into the
This 300-million-milestone comes just 39 years after
the 200 million mark was reached on Nov. 20, 1967. The U.S. population hit 100
million 139 years after the country was officially established. It then took 52
years to reach the 200-million milestone in 1967, and only 39 years to hit 300
million on Tuesday.
As the world's third most populous
country following China and India, the United States now has five percent
of the world's population.
The U.S. adds about 2.8 million people a
year, at a growth rate of less than 1 percent. About 40 percent of the
growth comes from immigration, which spurs continued growth and diversity. The
rest comes from births outnumbering deaths.
Immigration, especially form Latin America and Asia,
drives much of the population growth and promises to reshape the United States
as a more diverse nation and one where the average age will increase more slowly
than in most other industrialized nations. According to the Census Bureau, 14
percent of the current U.S. population is Hispanic, compared to four percent in
1968, and it is projected that 25 percent of the population will be Hispanic in
The Immigration and Naturalization Services Act of 1965 abolished national-origin quotas fixed in the 1920s and opened the nation's shores to new immigrants. Today, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than the rest of the world combined.
However, illegal immigration nowadays also is a hot-button issue being played up in upcoming legislative elections in November, so no special celebrations were planned for Tuesday's milestone. The federal government chose to let the big number pass quietly. Enditem