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Demographics of the United States

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The United States population is projected by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 306,540,000, including an estimated 11.2 million illegal immigrants. The United States is the third most populous nation in the world, after China and India. Its population growth rate is 0.89%, compared to the European Union's 0.16%. The birth rate of 14.16 per 1,000, 30% below the world average, is higher than any European country's except Albania and Ireland. In fiscal year 2008, 1.1 million immigrants were granted legal residence. Mexico has been the leading source of new residents for over two decades; since 1998, China, India, and the Philippines have been in the top four sending countries every year. The United States is the only industrialized nation in which large population increases are projected.

The United States has a very diverse population—thirty-one ancestry groups have more than a million members. White Americans are the largest racial group, with German Americans, Irish Americans, and English Americans constituting three of the country's four largest ancestry groups. African Americans are the nation's largest racial minority and third largest ancestry group. Asian Americans are the country's second largest racial minority; the two largest Asian American ancestry groups are Chinese and Filipino. In 2007, the U.S. population included an estimated 4.5 million people with some American Indian or Alaskan native ancestry (2.9 million exclusively of such ancestry) and over 1 million with some native Hawaiian or Pacific island ancestry (0.5 million exclusively).

The population growth of Hispanic and Latino Americans is a major demographic trend. The 45.4 million Americans of Hispanic descent are identified as sharing a distinct "ethnicity" by the Census Bureau; 64% of Hispanic Americans are of Mexican descent. Between 2000 and 2007, the country's Hispanic population increased 27% while the non-Hispanic population rose just 3.6%. Much of this growth is from immigration; as of 2007, 12.4% of the U.S. population was foreign-born, with 54% of that figure born in Latin America. Fertility is also a factor; the average Hispanic woman gives birth to three children in her lifetime. The comparable fertility rate is 2.2 for non-Hispanic black women and 1.8 for non-Hispanic white women. Minorities constitute 34% of the population; they are projected to be the majority by 2042.

About 79% of Americans live in urban areas; about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50,000. In 2006, 254 incorporated places had populations over 100,000, nine cities had more than 1 million residents, and four global cities had over 2 million (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston).There are fifty metropolitan areas with populations greater than 1 million. Of the fifty fastest-growing metro areas, twenty-three are in the West and twenty-five in the South. The metro areas of Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and California's Inland Empire all grew by more than three-quarters of a million people between 2000 and 2006.

Source : Wikipedia Encyclopedia


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