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What Was the Population of the U.S. Throughout Its History?

The U.S. population has grown from a mere 2.5 million in 1776 to over 331 million in 2020, reflecting waves of immigration, historical events, and societal changes. This growth tells a story of a nation's evolution. How has this expansion shaped the America we know today? Join us as we explore the milestones of America's demographic journey.
L. S. Wynn
L. S. Wynn
L. S. Wynn
L. S. Wynn

The population of the United States has continued to increase since independence. A census has been conducted at the beginning of each decade since 1790. The numbers are acquired in a variety of ways including door-to-door polling, but the Census Bureau never has counted every individual. In addition to general population information, the Census Bureau also collects other data ranging from ethnicity to income to housing.

U.S. population growth is attributable to a positive difference between immigration and emigration (net international migration) and to the birth rate exceeding the death rate (natural increase). Over half of recent increases are due to natural increase.

The Census Bureau also provides projections for the future, but these are highly speculative. We have shown their 'middle estimates' extending to 2100.

year population
2100 570,954,000 population of United States in 2100
2090 533,605,000 population of United States in 2090
2080 497,830,000 population of United States in 2080
2070 463,639,000 population of United States in 2070
2060 432,011,000 population of United States in 2060
2050 403,687,000 population of United States in 2050
2040 377,350,000 population of United States in 2040
2030 351,071,000 population of United States in 2030
2020 324,928,000 population of United States in 2020
2010 299,862,000 population of United States in 2010
2000 281,422,000 population of United States in 2000
1990 248,710,000 population of United States in 1990
1980 226,542,000 population of United States in 1980
1970 203,302,000 population of United States in 1970
1960 179,323,000 population of United States in 1960
1950 151,325,000 population of United States in 1950
1940 132,164,000 population of United States in 1940
1930 123,203,000 population of United States in 1930
1920 106,022,000 population of United States in 1920
1910 92,228,000 population of United States in 1910
1900 76,212,000 population of United States in 1900
1890 62,980,000 population of United States in 1890
1880 50,189,000 population of United States in 1880
1870 38,558,000 population of United States in 1870
1860 31,443,000 population of United States in 1860
1850 23,192,000 population of United States in 1850
1840 17,069,000 population of United States in 1840
1830 12,866,000 population of United States in 1830
1820 9,638,000 population of United States in 1820
1810 7,240,000 population of United States in 1810
1800 5,308,000 population of United States in 1800
1790 3,929,000 population of United States in 1790

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the population of the United States at the time of its founding?

A census has been conducted at the beginning of each decade since 1790.
A census has been conducted at the beginning of each decade since 1790.

At the time of the founding of the United States in 1776, the population was estimated to be around 2.5 million people. This figure is based on historical records and census data of the time. The first official census in 1790, conducted after the country's establishment, recorded a population of nearly 4 million.

How has the U.S. population grown since the 18th century?

Since the 18th century, the U.S. population has experienced significant growth. From the first census in 1790 with a population of about 4 million, the population reached over 76 million by 1900. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population continued to grow throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, reaching over 331 million by the 2020 census.

What were some significant milestones in U.S. population growth?

Significant milestones in U.S. population growth include reaching 50 million in 1880, surpassing 100 million in 1915, and hitting 200 million by 1967. The 300 million mark was surpassed in 2006. These milestones reflect not only natural population growth but also periods of significant immigration, territorial expansion, and changes in census-taking methods.

How did immigration affect the population growth of the United States?

Immigration has played a crucial role in the population growth of the United States. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, waves of immigrants from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and other regions contributed to the population increase. The peak of this immigration occurred in the early 20th century, with Ellis Island serving as a gateway for millions seeking a new life in America.

What is the projected population of the U.S. in the future?

The projected population of the U.S. is expected to continue growing, albeit at a slower rate. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the population could reach 404 million by 2060. This projection takes into account current trends in birth rates, death rates, and international migration, which all influence the overall population growth rate.

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Discussion Comments

anon178400

I'm pretty sure your future population is incorrect because a lot of immigrants come in every year and a lot of babies are being born nowadays. I'm only 15, but i know for a fact that your data is incorrect.

anon37941

I can't believe these numbers. 2010 is way-off. What is your logic?

anon20065

The population from the 1800's on can be expressed roughly as.

3rd degree Polynomial Fit:

Population =a+bx+cx^2+dx^3

Where x = the year

Coefficient Data:

a = 5.0147136e+010

b = -69931767

c = 31278.694

d = -4.3908914

anon9173

What was average number of children per family in early 1800's?

LAH

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    • A census has been conducted at the beginning of each decade since 1790.
      By: rachwal
      A census has been conducted at the beginning of each decade since 1790.