United States Population 2020
According to the US Census Bureau's population clock, the estimated 2019 United States population (August 2019) is 329.45 million. This is a bit higher than the 329.06 million estimated by the United Nations.
United States Area and Population Density
By population, the United States of America is the 3rd largest country in the world, behind China (1.39 billion) and India (1.31 billion). Its most populous states are California with a population of 39.5 million and Texas with a population of 28.7 million, and its most populous city is New York City with a population of 8.4 million.
The largest state in the US by population is California, which is estimated to be home to just over 39.5 million people. If California were a country, it would be the 36th most populous in the world, slightly larger than Iraq and [ Poland]. Its economy would be the eighth largest in the world, with roughly the same GDP as [ Italy], a European country of 61 million people. Interestingly, although California is the largest state in the United States of America, it isn't the largest state in the Americas - that honor goes to [ Brazil]'s state of [ Sao Paulo] with over 45 million residents.
Largest Cities in the United States
The largest city by population and the most densely populated city in the US is New York City. The city's population is estimated at an impressive 8.4 million, which makes New York City larger than the second and third most populous cities in the United States, Los Angeles (4 million) and Chicago (2.7 million), combined.
By 1930, New York City was the largest city in the world, holding the title until 1980 when three worldwide cities surpassed its numbers. While New York City is no longer in the top 20 largest cities in the world by population, it is the world's second-largest city by GDP – its nominal GDP of $1.55 trillion puts it second to Tokyo, Japan.
Although no US cities compare in either size or density to New York City, Los Angeles in California is the second largest city in the nation with roughly half the population - around 4 million.
United States Demographics
Currently, the United States is 60.4% white. According to Pew Research Center, the country's racial profile will be vastly different, by 2055. Whites will remain the single largest racial group in the US, but they will no longer be the majority. Growth in the Hispanic and the Asian populations in the US are predicted to almost triple over the next 40 years. By 2055, the breakdown is estimated to be 48% White, 24% Hispanic, 14% Asian, and 13% Black.
As of 2015, 14% of the United States population is foreign-born, compared to just 5% in 1965. Nearly 39 million immigrants have come to the US since 1965, with most coming from Asia and Latin America. Behind Mexico, China and India have the second-highest foreign-born populations in the United States. The current Chinese population in the USA is 3.8 million, and the Indian population is 4.4 million. The 2015 Census Report predicts that the percentage of the US population that is foreign-born will continue to increase, reaching 19% by 2060. This increase will account for a large share of the overall population growth.
By 2060, the US population will, on average, be older than it is today. Almost one in four people will be 65 or older. At the same time, the percentage of people who are working age (18-64) is likely to fall from 63% today to 52% in 2060. This will have huge implications for society as younger people work to fund the pensions and healthcare of the older generation.
United States Religion, Economy and Politics
The average life expectancy of a person born in the United States is 78.9 years. As is common in most countries in the world, US women have a higher life expectancy than men - women live for 81.4 years on average, while the life expectancy of men is 76.3 years.
Compared to the rest of the world, using data compiled by the United Nations, the United States ranks 39th in the world for life expectancy. Interestingly, both the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have higher life expectancies than those born in the continental US. Hawaii is the state with the highest life expectancy (81.3 years) and Mississippi is the state with the lowest life expectancy (74.7 years).
Although the United States has the largest overall economy in the world, it does not have the highest GDP per capita. With a GDP per capita of $62,606, the United States ranks 10th in the world. Median salary, calculated in 2015, is very similar at $56,516. The state with the highest GDP per capita is New York ($85,746) and the state with the lowest GDP per capita is Mississippi ($34,948).
The language most commonly spoken in the United States is English, which is the primary language of 79.29% of American residents. Spanish is the main language of 12.85% of residents and Chinese is the primary language of 0.64%. Native American languages are the primary language of 0.9% of residents. There are a wide variety of different Native American languages, many of which are on the endangered list. The most widely spoken is Southern Quechua, used by around 7 million people.
Although legal documents are normally written in English, the United States has no official language at the federal level. At the state level most, but not all states have English as their official language. Hawaii is the only state to have two official languages - English and Hawaiian.
The cultural diversity of the United States is no more evident than in the wide range of religious beliefs practiced across the country. While the Protestant/Christian tradition is the clear majority at 48.9%, there are many varieties of Christianity, from the more conservative Baptists and Evangelicals to the generally more liberal Episcopalians and Quakers. A sizeable proportion of the population (23%) also identifies as Catholic; again, the views of these individuals vary widely and many are likely to consider themselves to be Catholic while only nominally practicing that faith.
There several substantial minority faiths in the United States. Judaism is the religion of 2.1% of the population, but Jewish culture in the United States is highly visible, with Jewish holidays, such as Hanukkah, widely celebrated and many well-known writers, academics and television personalities having Jewish backgrounds. Other minority, yet still widely practiced faiths, include Islam (0.8%) and Mormonism (1.8%), while smaller numbers identify as Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans, and many other varieties of religious faiths.
It is also worth noting that a significant minority of 22.8% of the population identifies as having no religion or as Atheist/Agnostic. Young people make up the majority of this group and its numbers are consistently increasing. However, the freedom to practice one's religion is among the most important rights in the United States, to the extent that it is enshrined in the US Constitution. Therefore, while in the years ahead, the religious demographics of the United States are likely to continue to shift, the majority of the population will almost certainly wish to protect the rights of those of all faiths and of none.
United States Population History
It is difficult to estimate the population of the Americas was before Columbus arrived in 1492. Estimates vary wildly, but it is commonly accepted that the indigenous population of the Americas (the continents of North and South America combined) was between 50 million and 100 million in the 1490s. That includes approximately 15 million people living in the Aztec Empire and around 6 million Inca. The population of North America at the time is equally uncertain and has been estimated to be between 5 and 15 million.
Indigenous populations were negatively affected by the arrival of European settlers, who brought new diseases such as smallpox that is believed to have killed over 50% of the population. Additionally, the arrival of European settlers brought about war, massacres, and resettlement programs. The Native American population of the United States reached a low point in the early 20th century but has since been gradually increasing.
United States Population Growth
Formal censuses were not carried out during the colonial era, but records show that the colonial population grew from a shaky start of just 3,800 in 1610 to over 1 million in 1750. The population grew rapidly moving forward, and when the first official census was held in 1790 shortly after independence, the population had grown to nearly 4 million.
The United States census is held once every ten years, to count the number of people in the country along with gathering basic information, including age, sex, and race. The last census was held in 2010, and the next census will be held in 2020.
The information collected in the census is used for many purposes. The first purpose is to ensure that each seat in Congress represents roughly the same amount of people. National and State governments also use the information to plan services - for example, if they know that the population in an area is growing rapidly, they can plan to build more housing, schools, and hospitals. Every year, the Census Bureau also releases annual population estimates. Statistical modeling methods are applied to the most recent census data to give an up-to-date picture of how the population of America changes between censuses.
United States Population Projections
The population of the US continues to grow today, driven by a high level of immigration. The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that US population growth is running at between 0.7% and 0.9% per year. A 2015 Census Bureau Report suggests that growth will slow somewhat, and projects a 2060 population of 417 million, with the country crossing the 400 million threshold in 2051.
The United Nations projects a lower total, estimating a population of just over 400 million in 2060.
United States Population in 1776
The first United States census was not conducted until 1790, meaning that population data for the year 1776 must be estimated. However, the most widely accepted approximation for the U.S. population in 1776 is 2.5 million.
The most populated city in 1776 was Philadelphia. It had 40,000 residents and was densely populated with Quakers. The second-largest city was New York City with 25,000 people, followed by Boston with 15,000 residents, then Charleston with 12,000 residents, and Newport with 11,000 residents.
In 1776, 3,228 religious congregations existed in America. The five largest denominations, in descending order of the number of congregations, were: Congregational, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal, and Quakers. 20.7% of all congregations followed Congregational beliefs, 18.2% were Presbyterian, 15.4% were Baptist, 15.3% were Episcopal, and 9.6% of the existing congregations belonged to Quakers.
The American colonies of 1776 can be divided into three regions: New England, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies. New England contained approximately 1039 churches that year, with a membership rate of 12%. The Middle Colonies contained about 1285 churches, with an 11% membership rate. The Southern Colonies were home to 845 colonies, with a 7% membership rate.
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress, marking a formal end to American cooperation with British rule. The enactment of the Declaration of Independence, and therefore, the creation of the United States of America, marks 1776 as one of the most important years in American history. As of 2019, the United States of America is 243 years old.
In 1776, prior to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, America consisted of 13 colonies under British rule. These colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
United States Population in 1800
A decade after the first United States census, the year 1800 marked the second authorized census for the country. It lasted for nine months, with a census day of August 4th, and included two new states, Kentucky and Tennessee, and well as territory located northwest of the Ohio River and Mississippi Territory. John Marshall was the secretary of state at the time and headed up census proceedings.
The total U.S. population in 1800 was 5,308,483. There were 16 states in this year: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The most populated city was New York, with a population of 60,515, and was followed by Philadelphia with a population of 41,220. 33 total urban places were reported in the 1800 census.
The year 1800 marked a few major events in American history. A presidential election took place between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, with Jefferson elected to office in 1801 after a tie in the Electoral College. The Library of Congress was founded when President John Adams, Jefferson's predecessor, approved an act to change the U.S. capital to Washington, D.C. from its original location in Philadelphia. Also, the year 1800 was just three years prior to the Louisiana Purchase, in which the U.S. bought 828,000 square miles of land from France. It marked a major western expansion in the U.S.
United States Population in 1900
The United States census in the year 1900 was limited to the topics of population, mortality, manufacturing, and agriculture. It was the 12th census ever to be conducted in the country, and its official enumeration date was June 1, 1990. The census took place over two weeks in areas with 8,000 or more residents and over one month in rural areas.
45 states belonged to the Union in 1900. Oklahoma, Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Mexico enumerated as territories, and Utah was the most recent addition. In 1900, the most populated U.S. city was New York, with a total of 3,437,202 residents. Chicago came next with a total of 1,698,575, followed by Philadelphia, which came in at 1,293,679.
In 1900, under half of Americans were homeowners. Just 46.5% of the population owned their homes. At this time, North Dakota had the highest rate of homeownership for any state in history, with 80% of North Dakotans owning their home. The state with the second highest homeownership rate in 1900 was Idaho at 71.6%.
A major event that affected the United States population in 1900 was the Galveston Hurricane. It hit on September 8th in Galveston, Texas. The storm had a death toll approximated at 6,000 to 12,000 and is, to this date, the deadliest natural disaster ever to hit the United States.
United States Population in 2000
The total U.S. population in the year 2000 was 281,982,778. This is a population density of 30.09 per square kilometer. The 2000 census was the 22nd census to be conducted in the United States and was taken on April 1st.
California was the most populated state in the U.S. in 2000 with 33,871,648 residents. It was followed by Texas with a population of 20,851,820 and New York with 18,976,457 residents. New York, however, was the most populated city, with a population of 8,015,348. Los Angeles, California was the second most populated city with 3,703,921 residents. Chicago came in third with 2,895,671 residents.
As the United States grows and becomes more diverse, the measure of the population by race becomes a crucial element of each year's census. The 2000 census brought significant revisions to the questions regarding race and Hispanic origin to gather a more accurate picture of the population's evolving racial diversity.
In 2000, 75.1% of the population reported their race as white,12.3% responded as black or African American, and 0.9% responded as American Indian and Alaska Native. 3.6% of the population reported being of Asian descent, 0.1% reported Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and 5.5% of the population reported "some other race". 2.4% of people reported being of two or more races. Out of the total population, 12.5% reported as Hispanic or Latino (35,305,818 people). 87.5% reported being not Hispanic or Latino.
In total, there were 115,904,641 housing units reported in the 2000 census. In the decade from 1990 to 2000, housing inventory in the United States went up by 13.3%, which translates to 13.6 million housing units. The 2000 census also revealed that 2 out of 3 householders, or 66.2%, owned their home. 33.8% of householders either rented their homes or lived in it without making cash rent payments.
United States Population in 2010
In 2010, there were 308.7 million residents of the United States, as measured by the census. This is a growth in the population of 9.7% from 2000. More specifically, regional population growth was higher between 2000 and 2010 in the South and West than in the Mideast and Northeast. The South had a regional growth of 14.3% (14.3 million people) and the West 13.8% (8.7 million), while the Mideast had a growth of 3.9% (2.5 million) and the Northeast 3.2% (1.7 million).
The most populated U.S. city in 2010 was New York City with a population of 8,175,133. It was followed by Los Angeles with a population of 3,792,621 and Chicago with a population of 2,695,598.
In 2010, the largest racial group was white at 72% of the population. The black or African American group accounted for 13% of the population. 0.9% of residents reported American Indian and Alaska Native, while 5% reported Asian alone. 0.2% of residents reported their race as Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. 16.3% of the population reported being of Hispanic or Latino origin. Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian population experienced the fastest rate of growth among all major race groups, increasing by 43%, or 4.4 million people, in a decade.
The homeownership rate in 2010 was 65.1%, which is a decrease from 66.2% in 2000. West Virginia and Minnesota were the two states with the highest homeownership rates, with 73.4% of West Virginians and 73% of Minnesotans owning their homes.
United States Population in 2050
The United States population is expected to rise to 438 million in 2050. This projection is based on the assumption that currently observed population trends will continue. 82% of this population growth between 2005 and 2050 is predicted to be from immigrants and their descendants. This equals out to 67 million people added to the population from immigrants, 47 million people added from second-generation immigrants, and 3 million added from third-generation immigrants. In total, 19% of the country's residents are expected to be foreign-born.
The racial makeup of the United States in 2050 is projected to greatly contrast that of the early 2000s. 47% of the population will be non-Hispanic whites, 29% will be Hispanics, and 5% of the population will be of Asian descent. The black population will remain approximately the same in number from 2005, during which it made up 13% of the population.
Age is another key factor to look at in population projections for 2050. The current trend of population aging will have an increasingly significant impact in the coming years. By 2050, 22% of the population will be 65 and older; in 2014, this age group made up 15% of the population. The 18 to 64 age group will make up 58% of the population, and the under 18-group make up 20%.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 8 seconds|
|One death every 11 seconds|
|One net migrant every 34 seconds|
|Net gain of one person every 16 seconds|