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USA hits 300 Million

This week USA population reached 300 million. This count is according to the population clock on the US Census site which you can view at http://www.census.gov/. The population hit 100m in 1946 and 200m in 1967. It increased from 248 to 281 million from the 1990 census to the 2000 census, a rate of 3.3m per year. Unlike other affluent developed countries, fertility is not a problem in USA. The Total Fertility Rate is 2.1 (the number of children a woman can expect to bear in her lifetime). In the EU it is 1.47 and in Hong Kong and Singapore 0.95 and 1.06.

The general trend with fertility is that as economies grow richer and women more educated they have fewer children. Several theories abound for why this has not happened in USA as covered by the Economist this week. As viewed by a Texan sociologist, Stephen Klineberg, it?s because Americans are more religious and their faith gives a more hopeful view of the future into which to bring children. Phil Morgan, sociologist from North Carolina says its because USA is a less patriarchal society (versus Japan say) and women get more help with housework so don't mind having more kids. Or maybe it?s the six weeks of uninterrupted sex when the first one or two offspring are sent off to summer camp!

Perhaps a stronger cause is the wider open populated spaces and opportunity to seek larger homes in cheaper areas (than Australia). In Houston for example, there are no zoning laws and developers can build wherever there will be demand. You can buy a three bedroom house in a wooded street for $130,000 with hiking trails, good schools and golf courses nearby. America's diverse spread of population also helps family and community atmosphere.

Posted Saturday, 21 October 2006

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