Talk:Demographics of the United States

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A very poor understanding of numbers[edit]

The article stated that the population "more than tripled" in the 20th century, while the factor of multiplication, (281/76= 3.7) is far closer to four than to three. Therefor, I changed the wording to "almost four". Also, rounding rules would make it four. Put in another way, in absolute numbers: three times 76m is 228m and four times is 294m. The number of 281m is just 13m away from the factor four number, as opposed to 53m from the factor three number. So, we could say 281m is four times closer to 294m than to 228m, 53m/13m, where m=million.

Please correct: Race and ethnicity[edit]

To many Asians in US today! No offense!

Race / Ethnicity Number Percentage of
U.S. population
Americans 308,745,538 100.0 %
White 223,553,265 73.4 %
Asian 14,674,252 100 %

It could be also supplemented,like here:

White population of U.S:

Nationality Percentage of
U.S. population
German 16.8 %
Irish 12.1 %
English 9.3 %
Italian 5.9 %
Polish 3.3 %
French 3.2 %
Jewish 2.2 %
Scottish 2 %

Largest cities population[edit]

The list of largest cities have populations that are fairly different, but still within the same ballpark, as those found at other sourcs such as List_of_United_States_cities_by_population. Most notably, Los Angeles is listed as having 4.3+ million people rather than 3.8+ million, and Chicago 3.1+ million instead of 2.8+ million. I could replace those numbers but it's possible that the higher numbers are due to recent estimates or city amalgamations. Hypertall (talk) 20:02, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Sikhs are HIndus?[edit]

Why are Sikhs considered a subgroup of Hindus?

There are strong links between Sikhism and Hinduism, but also with Sufi Islam and others...

I'm not sure this is an appropriate NPOV categorization, and the original data from the US government does not seem to reflect it, because of what has happened in the early years; the lives of many have been taken and an increase in births has occured;and there is about 6.5% of humans that have come into this world.

Graph multicolred?[edit]

Is there any reason the graph is multicoloured?--Hugh7 23:42, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree, why is it multicolored? The green to red in biased against US growth. Some one find another graph.

To do:[edit]

Ancestry data:

San Antonio[edit]

How did San Antonio drop off the list of the ten most populous cities?

it appears to be number 7 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:10, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

a few fixes[edit]

I edited the article to fix a few capitalization errors and to make the Non-hispanic White population numbers more obvious.~Dark357g

white census[edit]

How are Arabs, Hispanics, and North AFricans counted as white? That should be changed. 04:36, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Um, you do realize that wikipedia doesn't have authority over the CIA to change it, right? If so, then I'm not getting paid enough. Cburnett 03:17, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Because Arabs, Hispanics, and North Africans ARE white. They're caucasian. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by [[Special:Contributions/{[[User:{ (talk · contribs)
As long you accept that Osama Bin Laden is white|{ (talk · contribs)
As long you accept that Osama Bin Laden is white]] ([[User talk:{ (talk · contribs)
As long you accept that Osama Bin Laden is white|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/{ (talk · contribs)
As long you accept that Osama Bin Laden is white|contribs]] · [{ (talk · contribs)
As long you accept that Osama Bin Laden is white

.html#whois WHOIS]) }}|{[[User:{ (talk · contribs)|{ (talk · contribs)]] ([[User talk:{ (talk · contribs)|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/{ (talk · contribs)|contribs]] · [{ (talk · contribs) .html#whois WHOIS]) }}]] ([[User talk:{[[User:{ (talk · contribs)|{ (talk · contribs)]] ([[User talk:{ (talk · contribs)|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/{ (talk · contribs)|contribs]] · [{ (talk · contribs) .html#whois WHOIS]) }}|talk]]) 02:06:15, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

What the heel is an hispanic anyway? For example And argentinian of German/Italian parents? An indian from Mexico? or a Black from Dominican R. or Colombia?

Please explain!!!!!!!!!!11

That's the point, ethnicity and nationality are not the same thing.

The funniest thing is that spanish are considered the same as latin americans, when spanish are so "white" as the rest of white people of north america, and latin americans could have spanish (or portuguese, italian, german...) ancestors or just native american ancestors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

300 million date[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Fact-Finder population clock, the U.S. had an estimated population of 298,173,150 at 02:44, 24 Feb 2006 (UTC), and was adding people at about 4.8 per minute. Assuming linear increase (which may be underestimating for even this short a timeframe — I'm not sure how the clock works), we should hit 300,000,000 at 09:58 on November 15, 2006 (UTC). We might set ourselves a reminder to start watching the clock in late October to prepare to update the estimated population to that milestone figure. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:57, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh, I'm sure it'll be on the news. Cburnett 03:15, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Update: as of 17:39, 21 September 2006 (UTC), the clock read 299,793,387 and was increasing at a rate of 6.0/minute. New ETA for 300 million is therefore 15:24, 15 October 2006 (UTC). I'm betting it'll be a bit sooner, too, since the clock rate is increasing slowly. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:03, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Here's what should be the last update before the official announcement. With the clock currently running consistently at 5.33 more people per minute for the past 7 days, I project we'll cross 300 million on 17 October 2006 at 11:44 UTC. Since the clock seems to be updated only once every 10 minutes, it may show the crossing as late as 11:54 (allowing for round-off errors). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:30, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Why are 'White" Americans counted as White? They are not White.[edit]


What is important is phenotype and culture and the US is a Western Country where the English speaking Anglo majority has been assimilating minorities for centuries the same way the UK assimilated the French speaking Normands or Spain assimilated the German speaking Visigoths and also Arabs. ASSIMILATION is the essential concept as French sociologist Emmanuel Todd wrote in his book "The Destiny of Immigrants". In fact, it is amazing the rate at what Japanese-Americans in California are being assimilated becoming White and Anglo-Saxon after marrying for decades with Whites the same way it happened with a great part of so called Native Americans who after decades of marriage became White being completely assimilated.

We can say that the overwhelming majority of Spanish have German ancestry because Visigoths mixed for 300 years with the Latin majority....the same probably will happen to Hispanics in the USA: they will be assimilated like the Goths in Spain or the Normands in England becoming Anglo-Saxons as hundreds of thousands have already done (Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba, Bob Martinez, Rita Hayworth...)

If assimilation fails the result is just Secession as happened in Kosovo when Albanians became the overwhelming majority or in Texas when Anglos became the overwhelming majority. Sooner or later the result is Secession. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Americans are not White!!! They could call themselves Martian if they want. So-called "white" Americans, according to their own one-drop rule, are not White and have never been White:


In European Americans from State College [in Washington D.C.], the west African and native American genetic contributions are low (0.7% and 3.2%, respectively).

(Shriver et al., Hum Genet, 2003)

As to their European blood, many Europeans are not White either:

The Tat-C haplogroup was observed at significant frequencies in each of the southern Middle Siberian populations studied. Surprisingly, it reached its highest frequency in the Siberian Eskimos and Chukchi from the Chukotkan peninsula. The Tat-C haplogroup was absent in the Lower Amur and Sea of Okhotsk region populations that have maintained greater geographic and/or linguistic isolation (e.g., the Udegeys, Nivkhs, and Upriver Negidals) and was only detected in the populations likely to have had recent contact or shared origins with the populations of southern Middle Siberia (e.g., the Okhotsk Evenks, Ulchi/Nanai, and Downriver Negidals). Because the Tat-C polymorphism originated on a Y chromosome containing the DYS7C deletion (haplogroup 7C), which was present only in the Middle Siberian Tuvans, Buryats, Tofalars, and Yenisey Evenks, the Tat-C haplogroup probably entered the Lower Amur and eastern Siberia from southern Middle Siberia. This conclusion is consistent with the previous hypothesis that the Tat-C and 7C haplogroups arose in central Asia and migrated west to northern Europe and east to Chukotka (Zerjal et al. 1997).
The network of Tat-C and DYS7C haplotypes revealed that the ancestral Tat-C haplotype (7C[11-11-10-10]) was found only in southern Middle Siberia, indicating that this Y-chromosome lineage arose in that region. Moreover, the limited microsatellite diversity and resulting compact nature of the network indicates that the Tat-C lineage arose relatively recently (Zerjal et al. 1997). The absence of the Tat-C haplogroup in the Americas, with the exception of a single Navajo (Karafet et al. 1999), along with its high frequency in both northern Europe and northeastern Siberia, indicates that the Tat-C lineage was disseminated from central Asia by both westward and eastward male migrations, the eastward migration reaching Chukotka after the Bering Land Bridge was submerged. Both the M45 and Tat-C haplogroups have been found in Europe, indicating both ancient and recent central Asian influences. However, neither of these major Middle Siberian Y-chromosome lineages appears to have been greatly influenced by the paternal gene pool of Han Chinese or other East Asian populations (Su et al. 1999).

(Lell et al., Am J Hum Genet, 2002)

   Tat-C Frequencies
Yakuts..........87% Eskimos.........61% Chukchi.........58% Finns...........55% Buryats.........52% Tofalars........47% 
Lithuanians.....47% Lapps...........42% Estonians.......37% Maris...........33% Latvians........32% Nenets..........30% 
Tuvans..........18% Chuvash.........18% Russians........14% Ukrainians......11% North Swedes.....8% Gotlanders.......6% 
Norwegians.......6% Poles............4% Germans..........3% Armenians........3% Slovakians.......3% Danes............2% 
Belarusians......2% Turks............1%
   7C Frequencies
Nenets..........50% Tofalars........47% Tuvans..........28% Buryats.........15% Maris...........17% Czechs...........6% 
Estonians........4% Russians.........4% Finns............2% Yugoslavians.....2% Cypriots.........2% Poles............1% 
Slovakians.......1% Turks............1%
   (Kittles et al. 1998, Rosser et al. 2000, Dupuy et al. 2001, Wells et al. 2001, Lell et al. 2002 and Puzyrev et al. 2003)

So, stop pasing off as White and face up to the fact that you are a mixed people.

NB: (Posted as Response 3/9/06) Everyone is a 'mixed people'. The odds are good that all such terms represented in this/these survey(s) fail to accurately represent genetic sub-groups, and are a constructed terminology with little or no basis in reality which has been implemented solely for 'ease of use'. The lesson: Don't blame individuals for their terminology; and society won't change unless it becomes convenient or necessary. Besides, odds are also good that the ideas and institutions which gave rise to this terminology are gone or defunct (like eugenics) and that the terminology will change as modern techniques (genetics) develop better terminology. These changes take time, and these terms represent such a trivial point of existence that the exasperation embodied by the above commentary is unnecessary. (But the statistics are interesting.)

The more you spread race heatred against White people, the more White they become.

I removed this line from the article "The American population is therefore only around 60% pure White European(180 million people)", because it seems to support notions of "purity" that are problematic to put it mildly. Not least among the problems is that I suspect a fair number of Americans (esp. those with pre-Reconstruction roots in the US) have black and native ancestors that they are unaware of. Besides, Europeans aren't exactly "pure" white either, there have been plenty of interaction with other races over the centuries. I'm not arguing here against the use of racial categories "white" or otherwise, and I'm not particularly afraid of anyone's hatred (or heatred!) of whitey, just pointing out that racial categorizations don't merit any sense of "purity". As it is, I think the article gives a fair sense of American ethnic distribution and also the difficulties in getting any solid definitions or percentages. 00:18, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

As another response, "white" in this context is a grouping of ethnicities—just like "black" includes all dark-skinned people of African descent. Of course it obscures distinctions. Heck, in the Census Bureau definitions, "Asian" doesn't even distinguish between Chinese, Indian, Filipino, etc. I'd say the Middle Siberian tidbits posted above are substantially less of a big deal than lumping such disparate "Asians" into one category. I agree with the basic premise, that "white" is a misleading label, but on the other hand, it's not any more misleading than any other label. The above poster is correct about terminology—these are just groups that sometimes make discussion easier, and to that extent are useful. For example, in saying "Historically in America, blacks have faced prejudice and hostility from whites", whether the blacks came from Nigeria or Kenya and the whites from England or Poland isn't really an important distinction.
Also, I apologize for editing another user's post, but I changed the formatting on the provided statistics for readability. —Ryan McDaniel 21:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

All U.S. Census Bureau statistics are self-reported: they reflect how the people see themselves, not any kind of exact scientific defintion. Funnyhat 18:32, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

The article says that there are 700 million whites in the US. I'm changing it to 70 million just so its not so grossly over the current population alone. I don't have time to look into what it really is. Would someone please correct this?
This was part of a 3-edit vandalism ([1]) by (talk · contribs). I've just reverted the remaining changes they made and left a warning on their user talk page. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:23, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

United States Population[edit]

What was the total population of the United States during the twentieth century ? 1900, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 ? Do not care about US definition of races or religions or other minor items, what was the population ?

Well, the obvious place to look is the U.S. Census Bureau website. Whether you can easily find such a concise overview of their terabytes (petabytes? exabytes?) of data is another question. For a lark, I decided to try it. Starting with the American Fact-Finder link I provided above in "300 million date", I wandered uselessly around various promising links. I eventually decided to try the to search the FAQs with the convenient link on the USCB home page. Its first hit was "Historical population data", which led to "Selected Historical And Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts", which led to two links, "1790 to 1990: Population, Housing Units, Area Measurements, and Density" (which provided a summary for each decade, including the totals we're after, through 1990) and "Historical Census Reports", which provided a 2000 link, which listed a bunch of separate reports, from which I picked "PHC-1. Summary Population and Housing Characteristics", subreport "United States - Part 1", which presented on page 16 (Table 1: Age and Sex 2000) the 2000 total. (I suspect most of the other reports of this last group would also have the total somewhere in their summary tables.) Whew! I'm sure there are many other easier places to get this number, but this is from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Anyway, U.S. population totals since the census's inception are… (drum roll, please!):
1790 3,929,214 1870 38,558,371 1950 151,325,798
1800 5,308,483 1880 50,189,209 1960 179,323,175
1810 7,239,881 1890 62,979,766 1970 203,302,031
1820 9,638,453 1900 76,212,168 1980 226,542,199
1830 12,866,020 1910 92,228,496 1990 248,709,873
1840 17,069,453 1920 106,021,537 2000 281,421,906
1850 23,191,876 1930 123,202,624
1860 31,443,321 1940 132,164,569
More info than was asked for, but it was a useful and interesting excercise. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:36, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

The U.S. population is characterized as slow growth, with a large baby boomer cohort. Births, supplemented by immigration, help to offset the aging population. The total U.S. population crossed the 200,000,000 mark in 1968, and the 100,000,000 mark around 1915.

Who wrote this? How can you characterize the population as slow growth when we're growing at 5.3 percent each year? The united states population as of 2007 is growing at about 0.8 percent per year and not 5.3 percent.

Hi, a friend and I have compiled the annual population of the U.S. from 1790-2011, something that as far as we can tell does not exist anywhere else on the Internet. It seems like a graph of this data and a link to it would be useful in this page.

Here's the chart.

From that page there are links to the underlying data, and links to the data source behind each of the data points.

Full Disclosure: We are volunteers for a non-profit called Data Collective whose mission is to build and support technology to help people find, understand, and share data, advancing the knowledge and education of citizens everywhere. We're hoping this contribution is useful, relevant, and in the best spirit of Wikipedia.

What would be the most Wikipedia-like way to incorporate this annual population data into Wikipedia? I was thinking a link in the external links section, a chart, and perhaps a link from the "Historical populations" table? I would be happy to make these changes myself, but I don't want to run afoul of conflict-of-interest and external-link guidelines! Thanks, --Dsjoerg (talk) 17:15, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

The table I would like to see, would include percentage increase with each decade. We have templates for this sort of thing. But if the one from Jeff Q is from the US census, it takes priority. We take secondary sources over tertiary ones. While I appreciate your interest and hope you can contribute to our articles, I don't see a chart with a curve as being useful in this situation. There are just so many ways data can be presented and our readers cannot be expected to sit still for more than a few. Student7 (talk) 00:32, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Population density[edit]

Is there a reason why the section on densely-populated cities uses pop. per square km when the table of the largest cities uses pop. per square mile? Funnyhat 18:35, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

The Dallas figure was wrong so it was deleted. An incorrect coversion factor was used to convert SQMI to SQKM.

How were the cities that are shown chosen? It is not a complete list in order, correct? If so, Cambridge, MA seems to be missing.

Does anyone know the projection of the Population Density map? Should projection be included on a map like this? It's actually pretty important geographic information.TheNeutroniumAlchemist (talk) 22:47, 8 January 2013 (UTC)


Shouldn't we include those aborted in the birth and death ratio?

The government doesn't keep statistics on that. See Talk:Death. Durova 20:30, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Surgically-removed fetal tissue does not constitute a person any more than a surgically removed lump of cancer tissue constitutes a person. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:02, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

A successfully fertilized egg will in fact grow into a human being by means of detailed codes of DNA, which causes unique differentiated cell division. Cancer consists of undifferentiated cells that increase in number by cell division, but unlike normal cell division, a cancer cell does not respond to "contact inhibition"; they do not ever cease dividing, which leads to a growing mass of undifferentiated cells. To say that a growing human being is the same as an undifferentiated mass of unstoppable rapidly diving cells leads one to believe you are quite uninformed on the subject. Regardless, Wikipedia is not a political forum for you to spew your falsehoods on two very distinct biological processes. I felt the need to clarify that cancer cells dividing and a fertilized human egg are not "one in the same" as you seem to want people to think. By the way, just so you don't wrongfully judge my intent, I believe in letting a woman choose, but that has nothing to do with why posted this comment. The sole reason was to dispute your unrealistic statement. (talk) 02:32, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I think the answer is "no," for lack of reliable US Census information, if nothing else. Any more discussion needs to be carried over to the editors' personal pages. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 14:16, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


Wouldn't this article be appropriate in the External Links section?


Christian Denominations[edit]

You need to fix the demography that shows Christian denominations, as Mormons/Latter Day Saints are not considered Christians. They are a branch off of Christianity that changed many of the beliefs, and are outside of mainstream Christianity.

Mormons are considered Christians, just not Protestants. Sowelilitokiemu (talk) 02:58, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Use of the word American (again)[edit]

Having the adjective "american" being appropriated and used in a culturally imperialistic way is bad enough. But calling the US population "american people" sets me speechless.~~LtDoc~~

Why? The population of the United States is called the "American people"- the people that constitute American (or US) society. Is this becuase you suspect the using the word American to describe soley the US as being US-centric? SignaturebrendelNow under review! 01:20, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps it's not technically descriptive, but that's the common usage. I don't see us suddenly calling ourselves "United Statians" just to give people a warm fuzzy in South or Central America or Canada.
Throughout the vast majority of the world, the word "American" means someone from the US, as unfair as that may seam to many Latin Americans. Its use is so widespread, and has been for so long (well before any of the other North or South American countries gained independence, it is worth noting), that it is really beyond debate. If Latin Americans want to go around referring to themselves as "Americans" then so be it, but they should do so with the knowledge that outside their own relatively small part of the world, the word has a different, more specific meaning (I say Latin Americans because I don't imagine many Canadians would consider themselves Americans). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Latin and South Americans do not want to go around calling themselves Americans. Their fervent wish is to have the word *American* expunged from the English language, they will continue to refer to themselves and each other as Mexicans, Brazilians, Colombians,etc. etc. But what really gives them wet dreams is the belief that they will then be able to officially denominate citizens of the U.S. "Gringo". Al Cook USA — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:56, 30 November 2012 (UTC)


I don't know where the April estimates are with Hispanic unemployment at 14 percent, but the BLS numbers I found for 2005 had it at 5.3 percent, and the September Pew study has it at 4.9 percent... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hilltroll (talkcontribs) 06:47, 24 December 2006 (UTC).

Literacy cannot be 99% in America. Here is quote from Wiki on America - "The United States also has a low literacy rate compared to other developed countries, with a reading literacy rate at 86 - 98% of the population over age 15.[89]" [2]

Literacy cannot be 99% in America. Here is quote from Wiki on America - "The United States also has a low literacy rate compared to other developed countries, with a reading literacy rate at 86 - 98% of the population over age 15.[89]" [3]

principle of most surprise?[edit]

This article greatly violates the Principle of least surprise.

Things I expect to find in the inro[edit]

  • Total US population (esp. being as I was forwarded here when searching U.S. population)
This should probably be the first thing mentioned.
  • Male vs. female population
  • Life expectancy

Things I did not expect to find[edit]

  • Ramblings about the low number of people living near the ocean (wtf?!)
  • Characterizing population growth rate as "slow" (how about some numbers?) accompanied by musings about immigration.

What's with this article... I've seen some POV dumps before, but on this article??

c'mon... 22:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

What is interesting is that 15% of the US Population is on Food Stamps.

Literacy Rate[edit]

Quoted from above link: The report says the district's functional illiteracy rate is 36 percent and the nation's 21 percent.

I'm not sure how there can be such a large discrepancy between what's listed in this article and what's mentioned as a quote from the DC education agency. Sure, some of it will be accounted for by different metrics (ie being able to read a sample text, and being able explain orally what is written vs knowing that those 26 things are letters, and being able to name at least 15 of them).

It seems too large a discrepancy to be purely a metrics issue. Perhaps some areas of the US government are so complacent about literacy ("everyone I know can read") that it simply isn't questioned when published as a fact?

If illiteracy is really that big of a problem, complacency isn't an option at all.

Does anyone actually know how these figures are produced, though? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:39, 20 March 2007 (UTC).

"The majority of population growth in the United States is now attributable to immigrants and births to immigrants"[edit]

This seems doubtful - my best estimate, from rough graphs, is that no more than a third of population growth is due to immigrants. Adam Cuerden talk 22:01, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, I say take that out. Aaron 21 June 2007.

Nearly two-thirds of Canada’s population growth comes from immigrants, according to the 2006 census, compared with the United States, where about 43 percent of the population growth comes from immigration.

However, it's not clear if this means immigrants alone, births to recent immigrants, or births to any foreign-born. --JWB 20:19, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Rename from demographics to demography[edit]

Please see Talk:Demography#Demographics_vs_demography_confusion and comment.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  19:29, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Needs serious work: San Antonio does not have a population of 22 million people[edit]

What's going on with this article? San Antonio obviously doesn't have a population of 22 million people, inside or outside city limits. --Nate Silva 22:43, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

This article and other articles with dry demographic data are frequent targets of prank edits by folks who like to randomly change the numbers. When you see a problem like this, there's a good chance that someone has recently tweaked the numbers, as (talk · contribs) did by changing "1,256,509" to "22,256,509" and then "promoting" San Antonio on this basis. (That's more than they normally do. In my experience, they usually just insert extra digits into numbers and make sure the result has balanced commas to disguise the prank.) To paraphrase the famous saying (usually attributed to Thomas Jefferson but probably originating with John Philpot Curran), the price of editing liberty is eternal vigilance. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 00:57, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Chicago's Population[edit]

I reverted Chicago's population from nearly 4 million (city limits) to what was on Chicago's Wikipedia page...if someone feels it was incorrect to do so, change it in account that you got the information from a reliable source Jfcr3wp 22:26, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Social Class[edit]

In the section on social class, the number $350,0000 is obviously a mistake. Should it read $350,000 or $3,500,000? -Athaler 15:00, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

-- -Same question here. What is the number "350,0000" supposed to be? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

That has been there since the revision as of 03:48, June 15, 2007 introduced the {{Social class in the US}} template. It appears to be a typo in that template. I have made the obvious correction. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:31, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Needs Update[edit]

I believe Phoenix has passed Philadelphia in population.

This article contradicts what National Geographic says about where most of the US population lives in regards to the ocean. Here's the site:

What's the deal with that?

"Urban" population of the US[edit]

The statistics on what percentage of the population is living in "urban" areas is misleading. The US Census Bureau uses a definition of "urban" that does not match the way the word is commonly used in discussion, leading most people to believe that a large majority of the US population lives in or near large metro such as the Boston/NY/Philidelphia/Baltimore/DC corridor, Detroit, Chicago, LA, Houston, etc, etc, etc.

In reality, many of the people classified as "urban" live in small towns far from any metro area.

In 1950, the urban definition was changed to include the following three categories: (1) incorporated cities, towns (except in the New England states, New York, and Wisconsin, for the reason noted above), boroughs, and villages with 2,500 or more inhabitants; (2) unincorporated territory in the "urban fringe" of cities of 50,000 or more population; and (3) unincorporated places of 2,500 or more inhabitants defined by the Census Bureau. The changes from the 1940 definition were designed to improve the classification of densely settled unincorporated territory and were made in conjunction with the first delineation of urbanized areas. Urbanized areas were defined generally as cities with 50,000 or more inhabitants and their surrounding densely settled urban fringe, whether or not incorporated. (Urbanized areas differ in concept from metropolitan areas, which were also first defined in 1950. In general, metropolitan areas were defined as cities with 50,000 or more inhabitants, their counties, and surrounding counties which had a high degree of social and economic integration with the core. Metropolitan areas thus included urban population not contiguous to the core as well as rural population.)

Changes in the urban definition since 1950 have been relatively minor. Starting in 1960, the Census Bureau defined unincorporated places not only outside urbanized areas, but also in unincorporated territory in the urban fringe of urbanized areas.

This needs to be included in the main article in some way. 19:00, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

San Antonio is Southern?[edit]

Now I know cities in Texas like Houston and Dallas are usually considered southern cities, but SAN ANTONIO? San Antonio never really had much of a southern culture, and there's a significant growth in hispanic number, and I always considered the city to be more of a Southwestern city. (Gameguy662 23:23, 12 September 2007 (UTC))

U.S. federal law defines Hispanic to indicate any person with ancestry from a Latin American country or Spain[edit]

Does this mean that a person from Brazil that speaks Portuguese is also defined as a hispanic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

No. OMB: "The term "Hispanic" refers to persons who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America, and other Spanish cultures."[4] So nothing about Brazil. SamEV 06:11, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Last I checked, Brazil was in South America. So according to this definition, it should be included. (talk) 13:07, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Last I checked, Brazil was not one of the "Spanish cultures". SamEV (talk) 00:24, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
In Latin American Studies, the term 'Hispanic' is commonly asserted to descend from British colonial racial slurs for the residents of Hispaniola under British rule (and is therefore generally not preferred, see; it does not have a clear NPOV 'referent.' One might wish to recall that US law also defines pi as 3.0, and is not the final authority on such issues. However, the OMB Standards document referenced above by SamEv notes that, for the very limited purposes of what US Executive orders mean in "ethnic classification," the term "Hispanic" has been changed to "Hispanic and Latino." As already noted, SamEv also contradicts him/herself: "to... Cuba, Central and South America... so nothing about Brazil." Brazil is in South America and much of its population descends from Carribean populations (eg the people the British colonials would have termed 'Hispanics.') Regardless, the clumbersome locution "Hispanic or Latino" seems to encompass all of the Latin Americas, 'whatever that may mean.' KenThomas (talk) 08:37, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
KenThomas, please note that not only are Brazilian Americans not explicitly mentioned in the definitions, they're also missing from detailed Hispanic or Latino population reports: [5], [6]. How is that a contradiction on my part? Other links you might find interesting are [7], [8]. As to the Caribbean ancestry of some or many Brazilians, what's the connection? The US is a sovereign nation. Britain's definition of Hispanic does not apply here. Moreover, those are Brazilians now, whatever else they were called in the past, by whomever. As for the origin of "Hispanic", the Spic (slur) article makes no mention of Hispaniola. And btw, Hispaniola was never under British rule. SamEV (talk) 19:35, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

false precision for 300 million mark[edit]

This quote seems to be an example of false precision: "The total U.S. population crossed the 100 million mark around 1915, the 200 million mark in 1967, and the 300 million mark in 2006 (on Tuesday, October 17)." The Census Bureau's PopClock may have registered 300 million on October 17, but that is an extrapolation of the number counted in the census, not the exact number of people living in the country. The Bureau admits that the census fails to count several million people 1990 Census Bureau, Census Undercount Background Information. That margin of error is much too large to pin the event to an exact month, let alone day. Cephal-odd (talk) 02:44, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

wili-nilly changes and unsupported figures[edit]

This page just popped up on my watchlist,with an unsupported change in the population of Los Angeles from 4,018,080 to 4,324,526 and of Chicago from 2,833,321 to 3,158,790 These changes were not accompanied with corresponding changes in the population density figures, but it was a revert — perhaps the change being reverted did not adjust those figures. I note that the text introducing the table where these changes were made says, "For more details see the "American Fact Finder" at the Census site.[9] Looking at that site, I see that this page gives the population of Los Angeles as 3,773,846, and this page gives the population of Chicago as 2,749,283.

Has anyone here ever wondered why so many people complain that the information in Wikipedia is crap? -- Boracay Bill (talk) 22:29, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I reverted two suspicious edits for seven reasons: 1) the edits did not point to any source, 2) the info seemed incorrect to me (it shows LA losing population), 3) there were no edit summaries, 4) the author was an IP, 5) s/he modified long-established info, which I assuemed had been vetted by other editors, 6) the recent history of vandalism to the article, 7) I counted on the IP's repeating its edits, but with citations this time, if they were indeed intended in good faith. I admit I didn't verify the accuracy of the info I was restoring, but given the circumstances found it best to give it the benefit of the doubt over the new info. I must say that other than the Race and ethnicity section, I'm not all that familiar with this article. SamEV (talk) 23:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about my grumpiness above. It was a product of frustration overflow at seeing yet another example of unsupported figures in a WP article which, when checked against the cited supporting source, turn out to differ from the figures given in that cited supporting source. I didn't intend to criticize your revert specifically — the unsupported figures which appear to be out of agreement with the cited supporting source didn't come from your revert.
I'm not sure what the figures in the article mean anyhow, or where they come from. In the Current U.S. population section, the article says, "For more details see the 'American Fact Finder' at the Census site.[10] " The table which follows that gives (for example) a figure of 8,143,197 for the population "within city limits" of New York City. this page at the cited supporting source doesn't mention anything about city limits and gives a "Census 2000" figure (8,008,676) and seven yearly estimate figures. None of these figures match the figure in the article. The article gives New York a population density of 10,194.2 persons/km2. Dividing 8,143,197 by 10,194.2 gives a land area of 798.8 km2 for New York. The List of United States cities by area article disagrees, giving the land area of New York City as 788 km2. That article says, "All data is provided by the United States Census Bureau and is current as of 2000." Perhaps land area info by city is available from the Census Bureau, but I haven't been able to find it on their web site. I would do some work to try to straighten this out, but don't know where to start. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 03:50, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
That's all right, Bill. I feel the same frustration, too, sometimes. I'll take a look at the rest of the article and see if I can help, problably beginning on Thursday. SamEV (talk) 02:31, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't a Table Be Fantastic to Add to this Article[edit]

involve a 50 year rolling (i.e. would be updated by a single year when the relevant figure comes out for the subsequent year, and the earliest year in the table could then be deleted) year-by-year tabulation of the estimated US population. If necessary, you could include multiple columns to take into account different measures (e.g. how an introductory discussion of inflation measures sometimes includes separate columns for different inflationary measurements, e.g. CPI vs. Wage adjust, etc.)

This would give wikipedia a comparative information advantage against its rival sources and it is a relevant piece of information to include in an article such at this. If it is linked somewhere in the mess of tables and charts, I certainly couldn't find it. And such information ought to be featured prominently anyway, not buried in a cross-reference somewhere.

The information is absolutely out there, but no one has taken the time - or at least no one on the internet (it can be found it books) - to put it all together. Anyone game? [I checked in the 'Demographic History of the US' article - not available there either]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:37, 26 July 2008 (UTC) 

State the current population, please[edit]

This article links from the topic "population of the United States". It would therefore be extremely useful if this article actually *stated* the population of the United States in the opening paragraph. As it is, this cross-linking is absurd and frustrating.


[CMB (talk) 07:21, 11 September 2008 (UTC)]

Age Structure[edit]

Is the age structure of the US important enough to have it's own section? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Better Sortable Table (example: Religious Affiliation)[edit]

I suppose this is an issue wider-spread than, and not intrinsically related to, the topic of US demographics, but as can be seen in the numerical columns of the "Religious Affiliation" table, the numbers sort by the value of the first number rather than the entire number. As an example, when sorting from highest to lowest number in the "Membership (thousands)" column, 97 is listed as greater than 879. Can this be fixed? ThosejaunesJDS 07:46, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Lead should specify total resident population, and accurately state growth rate[edit]

The lead cites the following reference: "Table 1: Monthly Population Estimates for the United States: April 1, 2000 to November 1, 2008 (NA-EST2007-01)". U.S. Census Bureau. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2009-01-10. . The cited table distinguishes between several different numbers: total resident population, total resident population plus armed forces overseas, total civilian population, and total civilian noninstitutionalized population. I think surely the lead must be concerned with the total resident population; if so, then that should be clarified.

If the total resident population is indeed what is meant, then there also seems to be a problem with the numbers. The cited table shows an increase from 302,687,241 to 305,548,183 over the one-year period from Nov 1, 2007 to Nov 1, 2008. Plugging in the numbers, I find that corresponds to an annual growth rate of 0.95%, rather than the listed 1.01%. Just in case I'm missing something, I'm not going to change the number right away. But unless someone can explain this apparent discrepancy to me, I will change it. Kevin Nelson (talk) 07:29, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Kevin. It's done. SamEV (talk) 22:45, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh... you know what, Kevin? Now I remember why I chose not to specify a type of population (a column) months ago: because all of them show the same relative increase for the Nov 2007 to Nov 2008 period. (Sorry I missed the fact that 1.01% was wrong, though.) I decided to let readers choose the column. Do you think we should specify a column (i.e. keep this recent change) or not specify? (i.e. put it back as before) Despite my original choice, I'm not all too sure of the answer, so my question is genuine. SamEV (talk) 06:58; 1 March 2009 (UTC), 23:19, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Having received no response, I went ahead and modified it to read: "Accordingly, the United States Census Bureau shows an increase of 0.95% between November 2007 and November 2008 for the population (resident or otherwise).[9]" So it's somewhat of a return to the previous version, but does address your concerns, Kevin. SamEV (talk) 22:23, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I hadn't noticed this until now. By my calculations, the 2008 vs. 2007 increases for November range between 0.89% and 0.90%. I calculated the increase in 2009 vs. 2008 for all columns for all months, and see that the results range between 0.85% and 0.89%. The "Resident Population" alone has the same range. I've changed this to read, "The United States Census Bureau shows population increases ranging between 0.85% and 0.89% in months of 2009 vs. 2008.". I've also changed the URL in the cited supporting source to give a choice between Excel and CSV formatted tables. If there's good reason that this should be limited to that column or otherwise altered, feel free to change it. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:59, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Bill.
The source you provided is updated, so maybe that explains the discrepancy.
"I calculated the increase in 2009 vs. 2008 for all columns for all months". Better you than me! :)
Actually, I got the same numbers for the month-on-month, 2009 vs 2008 comparisons for the resident population column. I like the changes you made. SamEV (talk) 03:21, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Problems with ethnic groups in the United States[edit]

I think this should be added also, there is alot of problems in the United States concerning with ethnic groups and other social problems and its economy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:45, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


The article breaks down the population in many ways but not by gender. How many females are there in the US? How many males? Seems like a basic distinction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:20, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

"White" vs. "European"[edit]

I've just reverted edits by an IP that changed all instances of "White" to "European." This has been discussed before (e.g. here). In addition to not being backed up by reliable sources, the edits in question introduced red links in the article (breaking this link: White_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans by changing "White" to "European"). Before making this change again, I think editors who support it should show citations to mainstream published works that use the term "European American" to the exclusion of "White." -- Æk (talk) 04:10, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Ah, so you are the gentleman who did that. Yes, that IP was, in fact, me. Although I can understand the conflict with the differentiation between Hispanic and European (although, for all intensive purposes, Spain is located in Europe), I thought that since the term African American is used rather than Black, it would only be politically correct to use the term European American rather than White, which would be derogative in this context. In addition, it doesn't make sense to use terms that refer directly to specific enthicities, and then use the term White, referring to a skin color. Mainstream media shouldn't have anything to do with this. It should be about social and political correctness. Keep in mind that in the nineteenth century, the mainstream term for a Black American was very offensive. At the very least, it should be changed to Caucasian American.

The content doesn't obey political correctness or the media usage. We use "White" because that's what the group is called officially. Please take the time to examine the sources from the Census Bureau. Cheers. SamEV (talk) 03:42, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

"White" vs "European"[edit]

The problem with substituting these terms is Europe also has people from Spain who are regarded as Hispanic but also are European..... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


It seems to me that the subsection on GLB is a bit WP:UNDUE considering their numbers. And the list by cities is not done elsewhere, as, for example, Southern Baptists, or Mormons, or veterans, or whatever.

A more important point, is that most breakdowns count everyone, not just a minority. So "race" includes whites, "religion" counts atheists (though I don't think the first section did), "age" counts all ages, not just seniors. My point being that heterosexuals should be included as well and the subsection should be entitled "sexual orientation." To do otherwise is, IMO, WP:POV and WP:BIASed in displaying statistics. Similarly, if cities must be presented, then heterosexuals should be included there as well. Student7 (talk) 15:00, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

And another thing. Do we allow the "Little Church of Jesus Christ" to say that they have 1 million members and that they have grown at 30% a year? Then why are we saying this about GLB? Anyway this tends to what I call the "Law of Small Numbers." Which suggests that if small groups grow at the enormous rate they are reporting today, that by 2100, everyone will belong to the "Little Church of Jesus Christ" or (in the real case in the text, that every person over the age of 11 will be GLB. Assuming they give kids a little time before 12 to make up their minds of course.
Having said that, I do like to see some figures on percentage growth or shrinkage when it contains the entire demographic: percentage change by age (children/seniors growing?). Or if birth of children by sex deviates much from norm (e.g. are many fewer female babies being born in China - or in the US - apparently due to aborting "useless" females?). So tracking percentage increases may be justified in some cases for the entire demographic. But they don't mean much for small groups. Student7 (talk) 02:37, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
And a third thing, which involves all statistics presented at this level - should there even be a breakdown by city at the national level? It would seem to me that the breakdown should be by state, not city. A breakdown by city would be proper at the state level (for example, Demographics of California).
Also, it seems to me, that this failure to include the entire demographic blithely skips single-headed "families", and POSSLQ families (Unmarried heterosexuals). Most likely, being the inner city (for this demographic, the editor has most likely chosen city limit boundaries. I usually have trouble with editors who go well beyond the city boundaries to prove some obscure point. Well, not here anyway!  :) single/POSSLQ families either outnumber or come real close to equaling heterosexual married couples. So the real statistics for San Francisco would probably read more like: 45% single and POSSLQs, 40% married. and 15% GLB, considerably below the figure reported in the article. Skipping the entire demographic enables the presenter to exaggerate his WP:POV. Not a good idea IMO. Student7 (talk) 13:58, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Just plain wrong[edit]

The very first sentence of the article reads: "The United States has a total resident population of 308,838,000." That's nonsense. According to, the population stands, as of 20:25 UTC (EST+5) Mar 10, 2010 (3:25pm EST), at 398,841,456. Unfree (talk) 20:34, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

According to that same site, the population stands at 308,843,030. Close enough. Make sure you read the footnote for that first sentence. SamEV (talk) 02:19, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
??? 398,841,456 ??? Certainly not! That's "just plain wrong". (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:45, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Census undercount[edit]

The article presents a good summary of data from the U.S. Census, but seems to imply that those data are more accurate than they are. Several sources estimate that the census failed to count several million people. I think the article should mention that large margin of error, and shouldn't portray the census's estimate as the country's exact population. Cephal-odd (talk) 18:48, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

With the very casual attitude of the counting, it is also real easy to be double counted. Kids away in school, people moving from one place to another temporarily, or even permanantly, and being counted in both places. Of course, the mayors don't complain about that! I would suspect that overcounting is about a prevalent as undercounting, but the latter definitely gets the headlines. Which goes to show how much you can depend on the media or politicians for anything.
BTW, do illegals aliens have to be counted? They comprise a substantial minority of six or seven states. What about legal ones? Student7 (talk) 17:35, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
One of the sources cited above does estimate that about three million people are counted twice, but six million go uncounted, resulting in a net undercount. Regardless of the amount of the error, these discrepancies show that the error in the census is large, and that stating the population to the nearest thousand is false precision. It would be more reasonable to say the population is about 310 million. Cheers, Cephal-odd (talk) 03:53, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone know whether legal immigrants or visitors are deliberately counted? Are illegals deliberately counted? Student7 (talk) 15:16, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

More Wikipedia bias[edit]

Of course Wikipedia has to put the percent change next to religion, in attempts to show off their growing atheist population.

Too bad you're dying. Get over it. And your lame ARIS polls can't save you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 29 June 2010 (UTC)


I wanted to throw in the fact that 35% of Americans who earn less than $15,000 annually in 2009, were obese. Seemed obscure because overall obesity facts were lacking. See Save for later. Student7 (talk) 17:51, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Curious as to why each country demographics includes percent population with HIV? Why not also include a number percentage with colon cancer, breast cancer, etc.? Justthefactsnow (talk) 21:45, 4 April 2012 (UTC)Justthefactsnow

Population density[edit]

Shouldn't the section on "Population density" also give the population density of the whole US? -- (talk) 12:40, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Race and Ethnicity graph[edit]

The second listing is missing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 25 September 2010 (UTC)


Lots of good graphs.

Suggestion for discussion. I think we need one good eyecatcher at the top.

I think the three together down lower take up too much whitespace together. I think they should be moved. Also, two are too small to be read. One of the graphs seems duplicated by a "moving" graph below. The text lower down could use some color but maybe not these.

Not sure the 300 million "counter" should take up so much room among the top three graphs, the only one that can be read. Nor the "comparison" to world census, which is okay to mention but maybe too predominant in an article on US Demographics. Its size seems a bit pov (seems to say that the world population is "too" large). It could be smaller and still read IMO. Whether the others would be readable by being made slightly larger is doubtful though. Student7 (talk) 16:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, maybe the '300 million' counter should be removed (or moved to another section), and the population pyramid replaced with the one (the 'moving graph' you mentioned) from further on in the article. SamEV (talk) 03:58, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I know nothing about graphics. Just deleted the 300 million "counter". Couldn't comment it out for some reason, which I would have rather done. The others need to expand a bit. Since there is no pixel count, not sure that is even possible. Bottom Line - not much better off than before! Oh, well...Student7 (talk) 22:16, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

What is the birth rate graph titled, "BR_curve.gif" trying to convey? For one, there are no units on the axes (X is clearly the year, but what is Y?). And the text is difficult to read from the thumbnail. This needs to be updated to be more clear with more discussion, or removed in my opinion.--Deuser (talk) 14:29, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Agree that it needs better labeling, at least. It appears to be a 1965 graph projected to 1969, chronicling a sharp drop in birth rate. Not sure that because it is "old" that it should be deleted for that reason alone. It does seem to serve as a backdrop to a diminished birth rate today which has mostly continued since then (invention of "the pill"). Student7 (talk) 22:19, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

"Undocumented" vs "illegal"[edit]

We are supposed to avoid euphemisms in our articles. I was wondering why the word "undocumented" was substituted for "illegal." I agree that the "undocumented" person has not had his/her day in court yet. But would you describe (say) x "unsolved murders" annually instead as "x unsolved suspicious deaths?" Or "x unsolved burglaries" as "x unsolved missing items from a locked household." Just wondered how far this would stretch!  :) I do appreciate that "undocumented" sounds more "objective," but not sure that level of objectivity is warranted in this case. Were we discussing a particular court case, I would agree that "John Alien apparently undocumented is being accused of illegal entry." But we aren't discussing a specific living person here but a category. Student7 (talk) 14:23, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, one thing is for sure. There is no such thing as an "illegal immigrant". Immigration is a legal process and "immigrant" is a legal status that must be applied for and received. People will yell and hand-wave about that, but all they have to do is read the law. That the census refuses to identify aliens not legally resident (either having entered illegally or entered legally and allowed their visas to expire), they have intentionally so muddied the waters as to make all statements about "residents" misleading. There is only one line on the entire page that quotes 1 newspaper's estimate of the number of so-called "illegal immigrants" at 10 million. In fact, most estimates range from 12 to 20 million and that severely compromises all statements about total population, citizen populations, and resident populations far more than need be and, since 70-80% of those illegals are Latino or Hispanic, especially so when it comes to cities heavily laden with such illegals. The page contributors seem obsessed with the Latino/Hispanic issue and some distorted sense of political correctness to the exclusion of much more fundamental statistics such as number of single adults vs. married adults. (talk) 13:24, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Hmmm... The article does not currently use the word "undocumented". The term "illegal immigrant" is used once, in a sentence supported by a cited source which uses that term. I see that DHS/ICE has used the term "illegal immigrant" (see Illegal immigrant who obtained driver's license and passport under another's identity sentenced to prison DHS/ICE News Release, July 24, 2009), and has also used the term "unauthorized immigrant" (See Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2009, Office of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, January 2010) and the Congressional Research Service has used the term "unauthorized aliens residing in the United States" (See Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011). If the terminology here is considered important, perhaps the appearance of the term "illegal immigrant" should be footnoted with a clarification that the term is echoed from the supporting source cited, and that U.S. government agencies have used that term and other terms to describe such persons. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:02, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Better, just use the phase "alien(s), illegally resident" and be done with it. "Alien" is the proper designation in the law for any foreign national who is residing on U.S. soil, including U.S. territories, legally or illegally, documented or undocumented. "Alien(s), legally resident" is the term of art in immigration law, and other laws including the recent Affordable Care Act, and its opposite, "alien(s), illegally resident", would be the proper descriptor for the opposite - a person, or people, who entered illegally, or intentionally overstayed their temporary visa. (talk) 08:37, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Population density (2)[edit]

An editor has made an observation, using referenced material. It is still WP:OR because an editor made it and not a qualified observer. Why, for example, was Germany selected as a comparison? A referenced editor would have some good reason. We are also more dense, than, say, Russia. Should that be mentioned? The answer is "no"! Not unless it is made by an academic source. We are not here to make up articles and insert interesting observations on our own. That is writing, not editing. We are supposed to edit. Student7 (talk) 23:59, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

A statement that 150 (check the count at List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population_density ) sovereign countries (including every European country except...) have greater pop density is mathematically derivable, however. --JimWae (talk) 03:02, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I saw nothing wrong with the info. I only asked him to source it so there would be no unsourced content in the lead (and because s/he added it and I didn't feel like looking for the source myself at that moment). SamEV (talk) 23:35, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Not doubting the truth of the matter. It's an observation from a large list of data. Why those particular choices? Let's say I have a list of heights. I "observe" that JimWae is "taller" than SamEV. Whatever made me choose those two people out of the whole list? It is not than I am wrong. It is just the question of why that comparison? If, on the other hand, Forbes magazine had said "Wow! X is taller than Y! Who knew?!" Then it becomes germane and is usable. But we don't interpret data, which is being done here and is WP:OR. Student7 (talk) 15:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Though I fail to see any harm in it, I agree that it's kind of arbitrary. Also, I agree with Jim that we should mention the population density and its ranking. SamEV (talk) 17:24, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay to mention density standing in listing of nations of the world. But it is arbitrary and therefore WP:OR for an editor to select a country at random to compare it with. This must be selected by some WP:RELY source and therefore selected for a scholarly reason and not to demonstrate that the US is more/less dense than some country with whom someone has an axe to grind. Student7 (talk) 19:44, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

For Scientology, Number of Clergy is "1" ?[edit]

A table indicates that the number of clergy for Scientology is 1. Is that right? Seems implicitly contradicted by the following in the Scientology article: "Ordained Scientology ministers may perform such rites. However, these services and the clergy who perform them play only a minor role in Scientologists' religious lives." TresÁrboles (talk) 19:33, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Why is the Hispanic category needed?[edit]

Hispanics are all originally white caucasians (from Spain) so why is a separate category needed? It makes no sense, otherwise there would need to be a separate category for almost every country on earth. If we take Mexicans for example, most are a mix of white caucasian and native American. There only needs to be a "mixed race" category, which most Mexicans and other hispanics would fall under. Davez621 (talk) 14:22, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

As in all matters, we are obliged to follow statistics and official counts/definitions on this, many of which are driven by political issues/biased agendas and political "correctness." We have no choice, in this, as in many other matters, all of which are either dependent on a biased government or a biased media. There really are few "unbiased" sources out there, aside from a few academic publications. Our main concern is being careful in what we use from them. We can't avoid them. Student7 (talk) 19:35, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

74% White or 79% White?[edit]

Why are two figures given? Under "Race and ethnicity", it says that whites comprise 74.8% but in the very next section, "Projections", the census projection of 79.5% is used. That's a pretty big gap. One of the figures has to be incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mj2000 (talkcontribs) 05:12, March 7, 2011

As to the numbers,
  • The Race and Ethnicity section reports 2009 figures characterized as the U.S. population's distribution by race and ethnicity in 2009, citing two supporting items from the 2009 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. See [11] and [12].
Figures for 2009: 100 * 229,773,131 / 307,006,556 = 74.84%
  • The Projections section speaks of a comparison of Census Bureau population projections for the years 2010 and 2050. See [13]
Projections for 2010: 100 * 246,630,000 / 310,233,000 = 79.5%
You're speaking of 2009 figures at around 74% and projected estimates for 2010 at 79.5%. It is entirely reasonable that these figures differ. Neither figure is necessarily incorrect. Also, even if one or both figures are incorrect (or untrue), please note the lead paragraph of WP:V. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:13, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Request Current Data[edit]

We just had a 2010 census. Can we get some current data here??? Starting with: 2010_United_States_Census-- (talk) 02:22, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Projections vs WP:CRYSTAL[edit]

I appreciate that the US Census Bureau is into the WP:CRYSTAL business. But why do we have to use their material? It seems fatuous IMO. "Going to reach 1 billion by 2200", "3 trillion by 3000." These are invariably wrong as different people move in (and out, which is seldom reported by the media). They originally projected that blacks would take over the US by 2050 or so. Then abortion came along as did Hispanics, and suddenly Hispanics are going to take over.

All nonsense. IMO we shouldn't be using anybody's WP:CRYSTAL projections. Let's just report counts, which is hard enough and leave extravagant projections for the future to the reader. Student7 (talk) 13:19, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Population density[edit]

An editor added a comparison of population density which was probably not inaccurate. But it was WP:OR. Need a reason for comparison. The one I have usually seen is with the Netherlands which has a high density, but maybe a more normal one is necessary. The point being someone with an npov needs to select comparisons. Not us. Student7 (talk) 20:43, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Unwed Mother Births[edit]

>17% Asian mothers, 29% white, 53% Hispanics, 66% Native Americans, and 72% black.

Just what? I, I don't understand how someone got a number of 200% of the population. (talk) 00:40, 22 April 2011 (UTC)Tildes

They are not supposed to be added. 17% of Asian mothers, etc. Student7 (talk) 17:00, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

13.13 Nationality[edit]

American - mean all Americans(North and South) from Argentina to Canada. It should be written United States American or North American(but that id mean Canadian as well) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a WP:RELY reference that says Canadians refer to themselves as "Americans" for example? Student7 (talk) 23:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Pure nonsense. In English, American and America are scarcely used as anything but in reference to the United States of America and its citizens. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:23, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

High density should mean cities[edit]

Not sure how to word title, but an IP placed this in the article where it was properly reverted:

"Residing in a suburb does not automatically suggest an urban location, which is one of the reasons there is a difference between the words urban and suburban. Secondly, there are suburbs with as many rural characteristics as urban, as in some "cities," the city limits surround farmland, or vast areas of open space. While there have been trends towards urbanization in the search for jobs and revitalization of certain cities, simply because suburbs grow in population, and often annex rural areas, does not make them "urbanized." Density levels should determine urban areas, not exaggerated and ever increasing boundaries, or suburban encroachment into rural areas."

I kind of agree with this remark, but what can you do? There are federal government benefits (apparently) for being in an MSA. In the US, we are stuck with these. In rural Vermont we have two Burlington MSAs, one overlapping the other. And a micropolitan SA including Canaan, Vermont which is in the literal boonies. But we have to follow the government in this. If there were a WP:RELY source that disagreed, we could start including those, as well.

This is a case of someone being 100% correct, but not having solid citations that would corroborate the statement. Student7 (talk) 16:44, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

une 2011 (UTC)

Where's My Poor Massachusetts?[edit]

I noticed that my current home state of Massachusetts wasn't in the table of states though the list had the expected 51 entries (50 states + Wash DC). Sorting by state quickly showed that Kansas was duplicated -- name and stats. So I deleted the duplicate entry but don't know what to do about Mass. Hopefully someone whose clueful, or at least less clueless, can fix it.

Neil Smithline (talk) 16:25, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Population Growth Rate Discrepancy[edit]

In the table at the beginning of the article, the 2010 growth rate is stated as:

  2010 308,745,538  9.7% 

In the "Demographic statistics" section, it is stated as:

   Population growth rate
   0.977% (2010 est.)

Is this a contradiction, or am I missing something here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

The 9.7% figure in the table is the *measured growth* for the *ten years* ending 2010. The 2010 est. is an *estimated growth* for a *single year*Jsusky (talk) 00:19, 19 December 2012 (UTC).

Unemployment rate[edit]

Someone who knows what he is about, has placed a rather obscure nomenclature in this subsection. It is probably true, but I wonder if it might be too arcane for "Demographics." I had never heard of it before I was forced to look it up. Might be better to stick with "simple" unemployment here and leave off more sophisticated explanations for a "main" article someplace, maybe? Student7 (talk) 18:30, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

It is useful and significant to apprise the reader that there is more than one unemployment statistic. This is not arcane in an article on demographics. The statistic typically cited by news organizations does not actually report on the idea that is commonly assumed (the assumed is namely, unemployed seeking work, plus all less than fully-employed individuals, including those who are working fewer hours than they desire, or who cannot find desired work, and have ceased looking, but still desire work), hence the desirability of stating so in English, in a section entitled "unemployment". The editor/reader may create links for further background and understanding. Governmental statistical series typically have such names, and one prominent series M0, M1, M2, M3, describing various kinds of money, measured by the U.S. Federal Reserve bank, and reported explicitly with the series number in business journals. See Money supply, for the example.
- Yellowdesk (talk) 18:24, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not disagreeing with the fact that there may be more than one figure for unemployment. It's just that this appears to be the first place in the encyclopedia where it is mentioned.
Instead of saying, "this is congruent with Einstein's Theory," we instead say, if "M' goes up, 'E' increases proportionately." We've never really said anyplace else that E=MCsquared, nor explained it either. And this for someone who has never heard of E or M or C!
IMO, an explanation should be linked elsewhere or replaced here with a comment that it "isn't quite the usual unemployment statistic." i.e, it seems to raise more questions than it answers. Student7 (talk) 20:37, 6 October 2011 (UTC)


Here are some sources:

WhisperToMe (talk) 18:26, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Lowest teen pregnancies in history[edit]

On the radio yesterday I heard a report that teen pregnancy was at an all time low and so had fertility dropped to 1940 levels but only the women in their early 40's fertility had risen slightly. Someone have the sources for this? Alatari (talk) 17:15, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

A little googling turned up [14], [15], [16], [17], [18] and more. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

WP:SHED just to add these new facts. 2 hours a day for more than a week just to get a fact about Christian numbers of 243m that was not supported by any sources removed. If you are an established editor on this page and you have the sources; enjoy. Alatari (talk) 18:19, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Map of same sex unions is deleted[edit]

Not sure even how to find the history of a deleted file to get an explanation of it's deletion. Alatari (talk) 18:24, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


What percentage of the US population are US citizens? How many US citizens do not live in the US? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

People are not counted domestically by citizenship! Therefore, reliable estimates may have to be used. I am "pretty sure" that there is an actual count of citizens abroad (non-US residence). I agree that both figures should probably be in the article. Student7 (talk) 02:44, 25 November 2011 (UTC)


I'm kind of annoyed that wikipedia still has, in the projections section, a sentence that says non-hispanic whites will be only a plurality of the population in 2050 rather than a majority. The major problem with this is that the citation, the source that claims this- is dead. The link is dead. Further, if wikipedia actually kept a tabulation of fertility rates and the number of women above the age of 40 who have never given birth as a percentage of women of specific races, one would see that Hispanics (as a single multiracial group) and blacks (as a racial group alone) have seen a massive decrease in fertility in the past ten years, with the percentages of hispanic and black women who have never given birth over the age of 40 now about equal to the number of non-hispanic white women. The citation that claims that non-hispanic whites will only be a plurality was either dated as being from 2005 or 2008, however as of 2012 the data clearly shows a new population shift. The source from the 2000s was probably a conclusion supported by data from the mid-2000s, when black fertility rates had not been yet updated from the 90s and when illegal immigration was at it's peak. The very fact that even though only 100k illegals have entered the USA in 2011 yet illegal immigration remains a tense issue in the political field shows that if illegals were to return to the 500k per year they were at their height, there would undoubtedly be a massive backlash against anyone supporting illegals. Of course this is only speculation. The main issue I have is that the link claiming non-hispanic whites will be only a plurality is broken, and therefore such information should be removed.

On another note the religious information is from 2001, though it is less likely that there would have been a massive dip in religious belief or a massive shift in the past ten years, there definitely is no reason to assume protestants have not continued their slow decline and catholics have not continued to expand as a result of latin american LEGAL immigration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

WP:CRYSTAL should be avoided, even when made by "someone else." 40 years ago, non-whites were definitely going to be in the majority by 2010. Well, that didn't happen. It is nonsense to project beyond the current day (a projection because we don't really know the population even today)! I suppose after the world ends in 2012, the Martians, or whoever, will get a big laugh out of these non-"statistics." Student7 (talk) 17:20, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Are you criticizing me or agreeing with me that the section that uses a link from 2008 (before fertility dropped due to the recession) is silly? Because it is silly. Anyway, all the sources I can find on the internet seem to imply once the "echo boom", the children of the baby boomers, come of age the non-hispanic white birthrate will probably go back up, since the current 50-50 parity of minorities to non-hispanic whites is due to the fact that Gen X was much smaller than the baby boom. It also seems that the hispanic and black birthrates will go down, and if the growth rates of the USA during the first two years of this decade remain constant the population of the USA will increase only by 6.3%. Also that link apparently wasn't broken, but it is outdated in terms of demographic data. Anyway I don't care anymore if anyone removes it, but I do think it is inappropriate to use an article from 2008- when the population was experiencing a height of legal and illegal immigration and the birthrate was at it's highest point in 20 years. Especially since the birthrates of African-Americans have continuously declined since the 1990s, and the recent hispanic baby boom was because most illegals are young and were taking advantage of the strong US economy before the housing market crash. (talk) 01:57, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree, because too many people want it, about projections of populations to today. Those are made by the census bureau but aren't really known, just guessed at. I would like to see projections beyond the current year ended for the encyclopedia.
I would like to see projections to 2050 or some really distant year, over which the projection-makers have no control and appear to be making some kind of political or racial statement, removed from the article. I think editors should vigorously oppose distant projections which are clearly WP:CRYSTAL, unencyclopedic (and nonsensical). Student7 (talk) 12:31, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Definition of "White American"[edit]

This edit reverted an edit of mine, saying that "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa" is the definition given in the White American article. The definition from that article reads:

White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who reported “White” or wrote in entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish."

It appears to me that there a contradiction between that articles's definition of the term "White American" and the one given above. I have attempted to resolve this perceived contradiction by adding clarifying information to this article in this edit. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 09:14, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

'Cohorts' section seems out of place[edit]

The whole section on "Cohorts in the United States" seems out of place for this article (which is already very long without it.) Discussions of generational shifts in attitudes and values aren't generally considered part of demographics. It should be merged into the article on Strauss-Howe generational theory (if there are any parts of it not already in that article), and deleted from here, possibly replacing it with a link. Teri Pettit (talk) 15:53, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

This is probably a good idea. We could summarize it here with a sentence or two and point to the (main) article. It is just one theory anyway. Almost not quite crisp enough, and supported enough to be WP:RS material. But nothing to replace it! Student7 (talk) 14:15, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Fertility Guidelines[edit]

Under fertility statistics, the article mentions that our fertility rate range between 1600 children per woman and 2400 children per woman. I do not know the statistics on that or I would have corrected this. If anyone else knows the statistics, could you correct this? Did the writer mean to say 1.6 - 2.4 children for example?Bronzeflame (talk) 18:48, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

"Birth Rate" term misapplied to chart[edit]

Under "Demographic statistics" the Chart located here:

is titled "Birth Rate in USA 1934-2004". The Y (vertical) axis contains birth figures numbering in the millions.

The title should read: "Live Births in USA 1934-2004" or something similar.

Jsusky (talk) 00:12, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Mightymights (talk) 13:11, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

The "white" percentage doesn't appear correct[edit]

The article says: Whites constitute the majority of the U.S. population, with a total of 223,553,265 or 72.4% of the population in the 2010 United States Census. (no explicit citation), but the Census Bureau says "White persons" were 78.1% of the US in 2010.

An over 5% change in one year wouldn't happen, so I suspect there's a terminology difference that should be eliminated or explained. (talk) 17:51, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Religion table includes religions with more than 750,000 adherents.[edit]

Set the cutoff line wherever you like, but the description says 750,000 and most of the entries have fewer than that. Either edit the table or the description. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:57, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

More specific ethnic origins[edit]

This Census 2000 report cites e.g. specific European countries of ethnic origin, rather than simply "White". It would be nice if we could find something similar for Census 2010, or otherwise just add this data. -- Beland (talk) 02:29, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Found we already had a copy of the 2000 chart, so I added that for now. -- Beland (talk) 16:22, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Blarg, that was already in the text under the "Ancestry" section, so removed the redundancy. -- Beland (talk) 23:25, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

A source that has population data while the shut down is in effect[edit]

There was missing population in 1935 to 1940 and an incorrect raw birth number so I searched and found a website that has reliably matched the data in the table we already have here: Raw birth per 1000 of 46.1 meant a population of 51 million in 1935 and that just couldn't be. Alatari (talk) 12:38, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Median household income[edit]

This edit caught my eye. Googling around, I see that $46,326 is said to be the 2005 figure in some places, and the 2006 figure in some others. The U.S. Census Bureau says [ here] and here that that's the figure for 2005. That first Census Bureau source gives the 2006 figure as $48,201; this Census Bureau source, however, gives the figure as $48,451. Either way, 2005 and 2006 seem long ago from the 2013 perspective. This Census Bureau source gives figures of $55,030 (2000), $51,324 (2001), and $51,371 (2012).

I would like to unscramble this in the article and cite sources, but I'm no expert, I'm confused, and I don't have the time. Hopefully, someone more expert and less confused than I will have the time to straighten this out in the article.

Incidentally, I see that the Median household income article gives two identical figures of $29,056 for two different measures of U.S. median household income in 2010. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 05:50, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Article needs reorganization and rewrite[edit]

The title is Demographics of the United States, but the general "demographic data" describing the most basic data - i. e., population numbers by age, gender, distribution by age, etc, are buried three quarters of the way through. Instead, the first half-dozen paragraphs are a rambling disorganized text with an illogical litany of fertility rates, comparisons with other countries, total numbers of males and females, definitions of "white" people, etc. Charitably, it's a logical, analytical and rhetorical mess from the get-go that belies a preoccupation on the part of the author with what divides us in the current political debates - i. e., race, ethnicity, religion etc instead of describing the basic demographic facts about the U.S. in a logical and systematic order. I agree with other critics who point out that the author is unfamiliar with the proper use of numbers, when tables and graphs are more appropriate than text, and vice versa. It should be reorganized and edited throughout. (talk) 09:08, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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Density of Orange County - Vermont[edit]

The map under the Population density section shows an Orange county density of more than 3000 p/mi². The article Orange_County,_Vermont says 42 p/mi² Has this map been verified ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Why does the 2012 birth rate... table has mixed race people at 9.11% of the population?[edit]

Isn't their percentage 2.9%? (talk) 01:57, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

In the news[edit]

This article has been quoted recently at DailyKos. Bearian (talk) 18:57, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

It is very urbanized ?[edit]

this article blows, go back and start over. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:22, 18 October 2014 (UTC)