Thursday, October 12, 2006
U.S. population nears 300 million ... so what?
The numbers are now in! The statisticians at the Census Bureau officially calculate the U.S. population will hit 300 million at 7:46 a.m., Tuesday. So what, right?

Well, we don't think it's just one of those meaningless milestones. In 1967, when the country hit 200 million, it was celebrated by the public and politicians alike, including then President Lyndon Baines Johnson. It meant prosperity, opportunity, growth.

So 39 years later, we think it's a good idea to take stock of where we are now: Who are we? How old are we? What is our faith? What do 300 million people mean for how we live? Natural resources? Roads and highways? Health care?

Clearly, there are a lot of big issues raised by the approach of 300 million, issues we plan to cover on "360" in coming days, culminating in an hour-long special Monday night. All of our reports will be framed with great stats, the kind people talk about at parties and everyone says, "Wow, I didn't know that."

Here are a few. The first one deals with some factors that result in a growing population:
  • One birth every 7 seconds
  • One death every 13 seconds
  • One international migrant (net) every 31 seconds
  • Net gain of one person every 11 seconds
    (U.S. Census Bureau)
That's right, the United States is gaining one person every 11 seconds. Whether this rapid growth will continue long into the future is debated by demographers, but it doesn't change the fact that for today, at least, we are a swiftly growing nation. And here are a few numbers that show just how swiftly we have grown:
  • 100 million people in 1915
  • 200 million people in 1967
  • 300 million people in 2006
  • And 400 million in about another 40 years
    (Census and National Center for Health Statistics)
Despite this rapid growth, the following numbers shows we have a long, long way to go before we catch the most world's most populous nations:
  • World: 6.5 billion
  • China: 1.3 billion
  • India: 1.1 billion
  • U.S.: 300 million
    (CIA -- The World Factbook)
When Paul Ehrlich published "The Population Bomb" in 1968, the term "overpopulation" became a buzzword and a warning. Since then, many experts have discredited some of his most dire conclusions. But now, we have become a nation of 300 million people. What do you think of this milestone?
Posted By David Doss, "360" Executive Producer: 4:05 PM ET
Hi David~
Amazing statistics! let's not forget that people are living longer also. I am reminded of this because I have been taking care of my Grandmother who is 112. I'm not joking. She was born March 20, 1894!! I have the census records to prove it. Sadly today I am holding her hand as she dies of congestive heart failure. She is not expected to make it through the week-end. Her youngest son (my Father) died earlier this year. She still has two children alive in their nineties. People are definitely living longer which adds to the population boom.I will be planing a much needed trip to Patzcuaro, Mx for el dia de los muertos later this month. I am anxious to hear your report. It will be scary but fasinating!!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 4:44 PM ET
For all those who were 'nay sayers' to "The Population Bomb" and lead us as a nation to super consumer status, I say look around at the reality of the road we are travelling. Those who would deny that renewable energy and conservation as well as attention to Global Warming was important should hang there heads or be given one of the ice floes that the Polar Bears are stranded on to enjoy the fruits of their denial.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 4:48 PM ET
David, Curse you and your dreaded "pop." clock. I'm addicted, can't get away from it! It's up, it's down, it's up--oh, no, don't! It can't happen again! It can't! Stop! Oh, no! It did happen! I've lost everything!

Seriously though, this is more than my mind can even imagine. I was never that great with big numbers, but we're going to be packed in like sardines. Probably smell that way too!

When we consider all the lives lost in wars, catastrophes, plagues and all others, this moment would have occured(?) much sooner. So, much like all things of nature, we too are culled by a greater force.

Anyone brave enough to get figures and see how it would have been, and when it would have arrived? Great school project. I'll try to visit you at your local facility if your mind gets screwed up!

Posted By Anonymous Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 4:57 PM ET
I can recall a day in my U.S. History class when my teacher joked aabout past generations believing that New York could never grow to hold more than a population of 1 million. Their reasoning was simple. Where would they keep all of the horses?
Posted By Anonymous Ray, Houston, Tx : 5:01 PM ET
Mr. Doss:

It was good to see the numbers on America and the world! I guess knowing we only 300 million makes me more proud to be an American. Look at what we have accomplished as a nation throughout the world. We may or may not agree with everyone and everything. Hey, we have 300 million people with freedom of speech! Americans can change the world each and every day!

I wonder when Anderson delivers the raw data for us on Monday how many times he will say "UM!" and look puzzled! As if to say, "Well, I didn't know that!"

Thanks for bring the world into our family rooms!
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 5:02 PM ET
I think it is disasterous. Our world is already groaning under the sheer weight of bodies as it is, and more will simply add to the on-going calamity.
Posted By Anonymous jim duncan, Hammond Indiana : 5:15 PM ET
Hi David,
I think 300 million people are a real boat load, but it's the reality of our land..I don't tend to be a doom and gloom person so I will accept this "milestone" for what it is..I do think we all will have to try real hard to get along with 300 million people, who all have different ideas, thoughts and suggestions or should I say "opinions?" But I'm hopeful we'll all be just fine and dandy..Every generation probably thought it couldn't go on, but it did..Of course many will say the opposite, that the Good ship lollipop is sinking..But I think I'll opt for hope..That way, at least if we all go down with the ship, I can HOPE someone remembered the life raft...I'll look forward to the program..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 5:16 PM ET
200 million too many I say. I think the government should quit giving tax incentives for parents that have more then two kids. If they have three you loose one. If you have four you get none. We need to slow down the growth before we are like India and China. Over populated!
Posted By Anonymous Jack, Livermore, CA : 5:46 PM ET

I think it's meanless that U.S population gonna hit 300million thing. U.S will be more safety place?or be more comfortable? ....The anser,NO. Sure,U.S is great and large country,but the rise of population causes another new problems.
It's true that U.S is the most attractive country in the world...for immigrants.
Posted By Anonymous kimi,sao paulo,BR : 5:55 PM ET
No surprise here. Living in the Phoenix area we are well aware of increasing population...and the dire consequences that come with it...

We used to say we did not want to become another LA. We can't say that anymore...
Posted By Anonymous Dave T. Chandler AZ : 5:57 PM ET
If it had not been for 9/11, Katrina, and the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, would we have hit this mark sooner? I'm not a math wizard but the way I'm seeing it, the U.S. makes up about 5% of the world population. We are becoming more and more global, sharing resources and apparently borders so shouldn't the real focus be on how fast we are growing as a global entity?
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 5:58 PM ET
Betty Ann of Nacogdoches. What is your e-mail address or phone number? We'd like to interview you and won't post your contact info publicly.
Posted By Anonymous 360 Producers : 5:59 PM ET
Too many humans are squeezing out all forms of other life. Why do we and the rest of the world need so many people anyways.
Posted By Anonymous Dave, NY, NY : 6:04 PM ET
We will not be the most prosperous nation as it is now without the 300 million strong population that supports it. Consider all the jobs we have outsourced to other countries the labor shortages now gripping New Zealand, the Balkan states, even China and India (with their billion peoples).

300 is a drop in the bucket. What we should worry about is not having enough people to compete or be strong vs. the rest of the world (militarily, manufacturing, labor pools etc.)
Posted By Anonymous Ken Sharpton - Morton Grove, IL : 6:04 PM ET
It's disastrous and social engineering on a grand scale. The American people had no say or influence in this mass population explosion fueled by peoples who are not American. This is a sad day indeed for America and our Founding Fathers as well as those who built this country from scratch! It's an abomination how this was forced on us with no considertion for our land, infrastructure, values etc!!Looks like corporate state to me! I think those who fought World War I and II for us are turning over in their graves!!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Patricia Knight, Falls Church, Virginia : 6:07 PM ET
Perhaps if someone would build a fence along the southern united states we'd still be at 250 million. But then again, maybe I should run for President because I seem to have better logic than half the politicians out there...
Posted By Anonymous David Houston, Texas : 6:08 PM ET
I think that overpopulation will definately be a problem in the future of the United States. Unless more money is committed to the cause, our aging infrastructure and outdated interstate highway system will present drastic problems for future travel, trade, and our economy. More people means more mouths to feed and a greater demand for goods and supplies. Also, overpopulation threatens wildlife and natural habitats in the environment. Wildlife reserves and protected areas will be destroyed to make way for the growing need for housing that will arise from the continued population boom.
Posted By Anonymous Charley Spencer, West Lafayette IN : 6:12 PM ET
We are back to square one. Who is to decide who lives or dies, who prospers and who fails. Is there too many, is there too little of? Who knows?

As we try and rid the world of famine, disease and pestilence, we still worry about wars and things out of our control (tsunamis, geological upheavals, climate catastrophes, meteor impacts, etc.).

In the meantime we try as best we can to survive, take care of each other and the next generation. Nature will take it's course.
Posted By Anonymous Waldo O - Chicago, IL : 6:17 PM ET
One birth every seven seconds eh? Hm, wasn't there a war going on in 1967 when the population turned to 200M? Now 100M people later there is still a war going on. I guess it just goes to show that there are some things even war doesn't interfere with!!
Posted By Anonymous Gail Oshawa Ontario Canada : 6:17 PM ET
There is NOT an overpopulation problem in the U.S. There is however an overpopulation of other countries like China, India, Indonesia etc. and THAT is the looming catastrophe.

The only solution here is education and discipline, where all of the world understands that families should only have as many children as their resources can allow.

The Catholic church should stop saying that condoms and birth control options are against their religion, etc. etc.
Posted By Anonymous Pete Tillman - Kenosha, WI : 6:24 PM ET
The interesting fact is the fact that we're reaching 300 million, and people think this is amazing. It's simply a statistical milestone.

We're not going to be more crowded Tuesday at 7:47am than we were at 7:45am. It's a mindset. American are fanatics about statistics.

Maybe it is pride in America, but I think it is just a bunch of number crunching addicts getting worked up over such an even number.
Posted By Anonymous Christopher, Carolina Beach, NC : 6:27 PM ET
Why people keep saying 'China this, India that' when it comes to population? Europe is almost the same size of the US, but more than twice the population. Yet no one says "yuck, look at Europe, that's horrible!"

I think that it is not only the number what people worry about... but where the number comes from. As of now, it looks as good old fear mongering for the sake of ratings.
Posted By Anonymous Kelvin Amaro, Tucson, AZ : 6:29 PM ET
To David Houston, TX.

Yes you should run for President and bring your naivete of a solution with you. Blaming the influx of immigrants is such a convenient excuse for everything that goes wrong with this country because it was voted the red herring of the year.

Gimme a Break.
Posted By Anonymous Ron Stubbs - Chicago, IL : 6:30 PM ET
"Perhaps if someone would build a fence along the southern united states we'd still be at 250 million" Does this mean that only immigrats have children? Sorry but last time I checked there were many racial/ethnic groups that have children, therefore hitting the 300 million mark cannot be "blamed" on immigrants. We are going to get to 300 million and more, so since there is nothing one can really do, why not embrace it with joy as opposed to being mad about it? We all just need to hope that all of the 300 million people get along and help one another.
Posted By Anonymous Maria C., Boca Raton, Florida : 6:39 PM ET
300 million is alot of people but looking around today we still have families living in proverty, kids without education, we need to make a change today if we plan on saving the world tomorrow
Posted By Anonymous Jackie, LA, California! : 10:51 PM ET
Hmm, I've been to a lot of Catholic weddings where they've said "Be fruitful and Multiply". I guess people have been listening! I only hope that these people can care for and love all of these new additions. Welfare does not need any more strain. Can't wait to see the show!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 11:11 PM ET

So based on the facts given of an average growth of 1 person every 11 seconds, we can estimate how long it should take.

Well, this is what i did in any case. The function is linear, since its a constant rate of change. 1 per 11 seconds, or 1/11th per second of a person. Our slope is 1/11th, and our current population on October 12, 2006 at 7:57 Pacific Time is 299,966,453.

Our formula would be P = 1/11t + 299,966,453, P being population and t being time. To solve for 300,000,000, we set P = to 300,000,000.

So we get 300,000,000 = 1/11t + 299,966,453. Subtract 299,966,453 from both sides, we get 33457 = 1/11t.

Divide both sides by 1/11 to isolate t, Time. we get T in seconds.

t = 369,017 in seconds.

Divide by 60 to get minutes, we get 6150.28

Divide by 60 to get hours, we get 102.5

Divide by 24 to get days, we get 4.271.

So, at least from what I got.. As of October 12, 2006 at 7:57 in California, it will take around 4 days and 5 hours to reach 300,000,000 in the US. From the data given.

In other words, it should be about Oct. 16, 2006 at around 1 AM Pacific Time.

Gotta love high school!
Posted By Anonymous Paul Christensen., Rohnert Park, California : 11:33 PM ET
Overpopulation is a myth perpetuated by racist leftists and liberals in the West to try to stop dark-skinned people from having more children. Incredibly, it has succeeded, as represented by the lowering birthrates throughout the entire world.

Anyone who believes overpopulation is a reality should remember that the population density of Rhode Island is greater than that of India and China. Yet we never stop and think of Rhode Island as a place that is dangerously "overpopulated."
Posted By Anonymous Justin Martin, Dallas, Georgia : 11:44 PM ET
Gradual population growth is okay so long as the country (cities, towns, etc.) can absorb growth and provide services. Further, we must look at what kind of growth we are experiencing. Yes, people are living longer so the decline is pushed farther out. But what is the demographic mix? How do we compare as a nation between now and when we were 200 million? Are "the best and the brightest" having babies? Or is growth fueled by people who bring little to the nation's "table"? And what of the immigration situation (primarily illegal it seems)? Can this nation continue to welcome any immigrant regardless of their ability to contribute to society? Hitting 300 million is not a milestone to celebrate but rather a good reason to be concerned. I don't favor the China model, but at least they have addressed the situation. Shouldn't we also make population growth part of the national dialog?
Posted By Anonymous T. Cooper, Gualala, CA : 12:05 AM ET
I don't think 300 million is too much. Have any of you good folks every made it west and seen Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska or Kansas. There is room to grow my friends.

I certainly believe that we must do a better job of making our resources stretch further. But I don't think the solution is fewer people. Look at Europe. They are the poster child for lower repopulation. What has been the consequence? They don't have enough workers. So they have to bring in immigrants. The demographics of Europe are changing.

I have nothing against immigrants. In fact, immigrants (legal and illegal) have been one of the driving forces for a growing population in the U.S.

But immigrants usually change the make-up of societies and culture. If a country has to rely heavily on immigrants, they may have some unintended consequences.

So I say we keep having families, and we put our American ingenuity to work to produce better cars and better mass transit.
Posted By Anonymous Reed Larsen, Lakewood CO : 12:06 AM ET
David - Overpopulation is certainly overstated, even with the 300 Million milestone in the U.S. The earth certainly has enough production capacity to provide enough food and natural resources for all of the world's inhabitants, but we need leaders who put this on top of the priority list.
Posted By Anonymous Greg Fox - Provo, Utah : 1:18 AM ET
Someone said Europe is almost as big as US but twice the population. Actually, Europe (without Russia) is quite small. It is actually the size of India (about 1/3 the size of US). Many countries in Europe including the UK, Germany, Holland, Belgium have a higher population density than India. Japan has a higher population density too. So, while India has a high population,it does not have any more people per square mile compared to Europe. So, if the people can be turned into assets instead of liability, the population problem in India will go away. However, the growth has to slow down and stabilize.
Posted By Anonymous Siva, Kansas City, MO : 1:32 AM ET
So now we're comparing ourselves to China and India, huh? No thanks. I would rather have a prosperous stable nation that treats people as individuals, not rats in a cage. I like my country and its open spaces, its wildlife habitat. I do not like its pollution, traffic gridlock, crime, withering forests and farms, conflicting ethnic groups, etc. Let's try to achieve some stability and harmony and recognize that we are only going to get one chance to save our beautiful country before it becomes a overpopulated shell of itself.
Posted By Anonymous Steve S, Sacrmaneto, Ca. : 2:21 AM ET
The American population is growing ever so quickly and the issues are starting to surface. The baby boomers are heading into retirement, and advanced medicines are most likely to have them live longer than ever. Teenagers are producing childern at unreasonable rates, and likely to have several more as they grow older. Immigrants are entering the United looking for opportunities and having childern here as well. But are we educating our people about how to fit in a growing world? Are we teaching more tolerance or exacerbating racial tension? Are the people in the nation aware of the rates of comsumption that is happening or wasting dollars and resouces on meaningless 'necessities'? We should humble ourselves on the notion that diversity is golden, we must now transform ourselves to be human rather than hyphenated-Americans, to be ONE nation, under the sun. We should strive to push education about living in global community, and live by sustainible practices. If we are aware about conserving our resouces and protecting our environment I feel Amemrica is well capable of reaching the 400 million mark. At that point I wish I survive reaching 400 million population mark with the right consciousness about it.
Posted By Anonymous Nicolas Costa, Orange County, CA : 2:37 AM ET
People have been complaining about over population since at least the time of Jonathan Swift and his satire "A modest Proposal". If anyone really thinks that we should return to 100 or 200 million why don't they be the ones to show the rest of us the way and commit suicide? We are already running into health care problems and retirement dificulties, imagine if less people were to have kids, instead of 2 workers per 1 retiree/unemployed it would be 1 worker for who knows how many. The economy would implode under that strain. More people means more workers and more people to come up with solutions to what would otherwise be too many people.
Posted By Anonymous John H, Nevada MO : 2:53 AM ET
I came from China and I know what it is like to live in an overpopulated country. It is horrible! I move to United States to give myself and my children (only 1 now, at most 2 in the future) more space to live. I wish the growth rate of US population would slow down. I simply cannot imagine 1 billion people live on this land.
Is there any statitics about which group has the highest population growth rate? In China, it is the poorest and most uneducated who have more Children than other groups. I hope it is not the same here.
Posted By Anonymous Lingling Zhou - Albany, NY : 3:05 AM ET
To Maria C. and Ron Stubbs,

In no way do I agree with putting a fence on the border. However, to say that immigration, illegal and legal has not been one of the most influential forces on our population, is just wrong. 12 million people alone have migrated here illegally from 1990 to 2000 alone. That is a substantial number and should be taken seriousily. No one is using immigration as an excuse for our problems, but it is unfair to say it isnt a problem; and one that shouldn't be dealt with. People should be allowed to come here, but only under the supervision of the law. If they want to be citizens, they should do it with honor. If you think Im racist or don't know about the hardships facing Mexicans, just try me. I have been living in Mexico for the last 3 months and it is a beautiful place.
Posted By Anonymous Bobby C, Guadalajara Mexico : 3:20 AM ET
Look at it this way. In another hundred or so years we'll have more than enough people to start emptying onto offworld settlements without harming our system here on Terra Firma. Mars Federal Colony housing 150 million Americans, anyone?

It'll happen eventually, and probably sooner rather than later. More people may eventually be a bad thing when we're only on a single world, but there's plenty of evidence we'll be spreading out in the decades and centuries to come. Which makes overpopulation a non-issue. More American territory with more Americans to live on it and make it prosper. Sounds like a great combination to me!
Posted By Anonymous Nik, the Woodlands, Texas : 3:32 AM ET
For what it's worth, the fertility rate in the U.S. is just under 2, and has been for several years. Which means that if there were no immigration (legal or illegal) our population would actually not have grown...
Posted By Anonymous Alex, Corvallis, OR : 3:35 AM ET
If every man, woman and child on the earth were divided into 4 person groups and each group was given 1500 sq feet of living space (apartment) you could fit every human being on this planet into the state of texas. Texas covers 270,000 sq miles. Ive done the math on this and it is a true statement.
Posted By Anonymous Chuck, Cincinnati, OH : 6:53 AM ET
Inh 1967 when the US hit 200 million all the talk about over population and how we cannot even feed those we already have and how the planet cannot support this many people, etc, etc led to the 1973 legalization of abortion. Mark my words, we will hear the same hype and with the Democrats likely to gain control of Congress and then the White House in 2008, I expect euthanasa and the killing of handicap to be legalized. I am firmly opposed to these as well as abortion but that hasn't stopped it yet!
Posted By Anonymous Bob Moore, Phila Pa : 7:09 AM ET
I hope to be giving birth to the 300 millionth American this week. She is a blessing and a true gift. She will be the 5th generation Californian in my husbands family. I just wanted to post a positive comment.
Posted By Anonymous Kelly, Discovery Bay, CA : 10:09 AM ET
With all due respect to the creative minds at CNN. The "Melting Pot or Meltdown" banner leaves the reader without a doubt (but oh quite so subtly) that the blame lies squarely on the immigrants for any problems or possible future issues that a 300 million populace might bring.

Frankly, it's quite unfair.
Posted By Anonymous Eric Shea - Topeka, KS : 10:29 AM ET
David, Ehrlich has not been proven wrong. Only his timing was off. The world (generally and overall) has escaped mass famine because of 40 years of crop improvement and intensive farming. But that curve will level off. There are limits to what we can grow, and water shortages, erosion and salination (a hugely underplayed issue) are taking large areas out of production.
With regard to the US (might as well throw in Canada too), extra space and abundance has long been our lifestyle advantage. Overpopulating these countries will negate the reason immigrants came here in the first place.
What's more, I think it is silly to compare the US population to China's. What is the point? Do we want to be hemmed in like the Chinese or Indians?
Should we not emulate smaller countries that have more successful histories? Sweden thrives on a population of under 10 million. That hasn't stopped them from achieving anything. They export electronics, airplanes, space technology, you name it.
Some of the most prosperous countries in the world have small populations - and they also manage to survive without "diversity". Yet the neocon school of thought tells us that we are doomed without these attributes.
Posted By Anonymous Christopher Haslett, Toronto, ON : 12:21 PM ET
David, please stop that clock, I've decided I want to get off!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Scarboro, Ontario : 12:38 PM ET
Dear David,

I see you have returned to the subject that stirred up such a firestorm on Monday! You guys are braver than I imagined! Of course you are right; the 300 million mark is not "just one of those meaningless milestones." I hope it will be a wake up call for those who don't believe overpopulation is a troubling issue.

The United States may be behind countries like China and India at the moment, but do we want to wait until our population is out of control and our quality of live is diminished before we do anything about it?

In addition to the increase in multiple births and the fact that people are living a lot longer and will probably live even longer in the future, we must face the fact that immigration will eventually play a much larger role in the population growth of our country. The overpopulation of other countries will inevitably cause an increase in immigration to prosperous areas like the U.S. For the record, I am not anti-immigration.

I believe we, as the most prosperous nation in the world, should set an example for other countries and try to curtail our birth rate and the destruction of the environment. I would like to see the statistics on the amount of natural resources each child born needs to live a comfortable life well into their 80s or 90s. Unfortunately, I think some religious leaders need to focus on the quality of life for each child rather than the amount of parishioners they can "create." I realize that many religious organizations do wonderful work in poor underdeveloped countries and I applaud them for doing so, but they do a disservice to these people when they condemn the use of birth control.

I doubt that any amount of information will change the mind of anyone who does not already believe there is a population problem. It didn't help much with global warming or evolution.

Good luck to you David, Anderson, and the rest of "360;" you have your work cut out for you! It'll be interesting to watch. Take care.

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 1:31 PM ET
I'm amazed by the smartness of the "360" blog readers and am just enjoying the many fascinating statistics I read here. I haven't started worrying about the overpopulation thing, as I think it's best for people to get all the facts before reacting. Are we still supposed to be worried about bird flu, West Nile virus and global warming? Now we have to worry about too many people?
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 2:31 PM ET
The problem is not directly related to overpopulation, but a greater rate of uneducated households raising children in comparison to children of educated households. Education is the driving force of America. A land of uneducated people is not a land that any intelligent person wants to live on. The problem lies in the fact that only the educated are using birth control, reading these blogs or even listening to the news. It is hard to reach out to the uneducated because they are essentially in isolation unaware of the present state and possible future state of our nation and the world. They dont read up on what is going on because they can't read. They don't listen to the news becuase it does not appeal to their minds. In America, and other nations as well, the uneducated far surpass the numbers of the educated. Only 18% of adults in the U.S. have college degrees, and 41% of our nation either cannot read English or has far below standard reading skills. However, we need smart, intelligent people to drive America to the number one leading nation in the world. A land of uneducated people is a land of the doomed, and creates further separation with a smaller shrinking middle class and futher condensed metro cities with the uneducated, unwealthy being pushed to the outskirts.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Gainesville FL : 3:23 PM ET
Well, for this country, you can not stop the births and deaths in the country. Let nature take its course. The one thing we need to get a handle on is the immigration issue. We need tougher immigration laws, build the Mexica-American fence, reduce the number of people pooring into this country illegally. That will help, but with countries like Mexico who welcome immigration from Mexico into the US, this will always be a problem.
We may have Military threats like Iran and North Korea, but Mexico and the illegal immigration is just as big of a threat.
Posted By Anonymous Jack Marsh, Jackson MS : 3:28 PM ET
Aging population? Grim future for the SS and Medicare? Bah! Just have another kid and (maybe) import another international migrant (net)so we'll have somebody to pay for the huge deficit and contribute towwards the SS benefits of the previous generation. Another 100 M in 10 years!
Posted By Anonymous Ross, Toledo, Oh : 3:45 PM ET
Paul Erhlich was correct. SOME of us decided long ago NOT to have more than 2 kids. Most of my family & friends did just that, but now, when trying to live a middle-class lifestyle is getting harder by the day, I see 3 & 4 kids regularily traisping along with Mom at the mall. And I'm wondering how & when does she have time for them with working all day & maybe not even having a spouse to help with the duties & financial responsibilities.

My oldest is gay & my youngest doesn't want children & to be honest, I can't blame him. He & his "significent other" will have a much better quality of life without kids & a greater chance of having some future for retirement. Grandkids? I signed on for kids, but I truly can say I am perfectly happy without them.
Posted By Anonymous Vicky Bevis, Pittsburgh, Pa. : 4:48 PM ET
I sometimes wonder just how many people this earth can handle. As with previous species that have lived on this planet, there will come a time when the human species will no longer populate this world. Lets say 20 million more years.
Posted By Anonymous Jerry L. Rhodes, Augusta, GA : 4:26 PM ET
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