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317,297,938 Reasons to Celebrate the New Year

The U.S. enters 2014 with a brand new population estimate.


The Census Bureau figures that a birth takes place in the United States every eight seconds, and a death every 12 seconds. The country gains a net new immigrant from another part of the world every 40 seconds. Add all of that up, and the U.S. population grows by another head roughly every 16 seconds. (That's probably about the time it took you to read this well-crafted paragraph.)

With that math in mind, the Census Bureau released today its projection for the U.S. population come January 1, 2014: If you live in the U.S., you'll be ringing in the New Year alongside 317,297,937 others (add yourself, and that makes 317,297,938 of us).

Looking back at New Year's Day of 2013, the country will have added an estimated 2,218,622 people, which is nothing compared to India. The one-year population gain there? 15.6 million people.

For a little more mind-bending perspective, this was the U.S. population in 1914:  99,111,000.

Oh, and back then, a majority of us – for what was soon to be the last time – were still living in rural America.

Top image: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

About the Author

  • Emily Badger is a former staff writer at CityLab. Her work has previously appeared in Pacific StandardGOODThe Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.