Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Population Growth to Slow over Next 50 Years, Bureau Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Population Growth to Slow over Next 50 Years, Bureau Says

Article excerpt

America's population growth will slow to the lowest rate since the Great Depression over the next half-century, the Census Bureau reports.

The bureau's latest projections call for a nation of 400 million people by 2050, up 137 million from the current figure, but still the lowest rate of increase in six decades.

The nation's median age of 34.1 in 1995 was a record high. But it is expected to climb to 35.7 by 2000 and 38.7 by 2035, according to the report "Population Projections of the United States," released last week. The median is midpoint between the older and the younger halfs of the population.

The report chronicles the continued aging of the population as the massive post-World War II baby boom generation nears 50, leaving a smaller generation of young people in their wake.

With the baby boomers growing mature, and fewer people in the prime childbearing years, the country's growth rate will slow, the report points out.

Between 1995 and 2000, annual growth is expected to be 0.88 percent, the report says. But this is expected to drop to 0.63 percent annually between 2040 and 2050. The projection assumes immigration will be unchanged.

As the next century progresses, the baby boomers will begin retiring, increasing the so-called dependency ratio which is the number of people under age 18 and over 65 compared to the number in the working ages in between. …

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