US population trends, 2000-2006
National and regional trends
The population of the United States increased from 281.4 million in the 2000 census to 299.4 million in 2006 according to US Census Bureau estimates. This represents a 6.39% change during the six year period, and the overall population growth rate has slowed by 17% since the 1990s.
Find your center location
Visit the Geographic Midpoint Calculator. With this free online tool you can:
- Select all cities and towns that you have lived in then view a Google map with a marker showing you exactly where your average location is.
- Find the midpoint of a flight between two cities and more.
In many cases small and medium sized metropolitan areas are growing more rapidly than large metropolitan areas with the notable exception of several fast growing cities in the sunbelt. At the other extreme small towns and rural areas are growing very slowly because most jobs tend to be created within cities. Also, cities with a lower cost of living are growing faster than cities with expensive housing and higher taxes.
Since the 1950s central cities throughout the country have been gradually shrinking as suburban areas expand. The same trend has continued from 2000 to 2006 as people show a preference for the suburban lifestyle with roomier homes and yards, where they can enjoy urban amenities, cultural and sporting events without living in the higher congestion of the central cities. Expect this trend to continue as more and more people begin to work at home instead of commuting to the office.
Hispanic population boom
The explosive growth of the hispanic population in the US has had an enormous impact on the US population, and this has major political and economic implications for the country.
- In 2003 the hispanic population became the nation's largest minority. It now numbers over 41 million.
- The hispanic population is growing 4 times faster than the US population as a whole.
- The hispanic population now accounts for 50% of the population growth in the US.
- The average hispanic family size is the largest of all US ethnic groups.
- By 2050 hispanics will represent 25% of the US population.
During the 20th century, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago attracted millions of hispanic immigrants. Hispanic people are still moving to these cities, but in smaller numbers than before. Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Sacramento have become new gateway cities for hispanic immigration, and this has been one of the principle causes for the rapid population growth in these cities in recent years. But hispanics are also moving en masse to metropolitan areas such as Las Vegas, Austin, Charlotte, Nashville and to a host of smaller cities as well. Cities throughout the country, including the northeast and the midwest are seeing significant growth in their hispanic populations.
Hispanic immigration into the western states comes primarily from Mexico and from mexican americans already living in the country. The hispanic immigration trend is particularly heavy in the southwestern states from California to Texas. The hispanic population in Florida continues to be largely of Cuban descent and the hispanic population in New York and surrounding areas has historically been from Puerto Rican descent.