U.S. population grows less than 1 percent

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As of January 1, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the population of the United States at 317.3 million, up 0.7 percent from a year ago. The census figures illustrate the importance of export markets to support growth in U.S. livestock industries, as most of the world’s population growth is taking place elsewhere, particularly in Asia.

The projected world population on Jan. 1, 2014, is 7.14 billion, up 1.1 percent or 77.6 million from a year ago. Based on those figures, the U.S. population accounts for about 4.4 percent of the world’s total.

India leads the world in population growth, adding 15.6 million people during 2013, followed by China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ethiopia. Worldwide, the bureau projects that during 2014 there will be 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths every second.

China remains the world’s most populous country, at 1.3 billion, but India, at 1.2 billion, is a close second. The United States, with its 317 million people, is in a distant third-place.

California is our most populous state, with 38.3 million, followed by Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois to round out the top five. Wyoming is our least populous state, with an estimated 576,412 people in 2012. Alaska, with a 2012 population estimate of 731,449, has the lowest population density, with about 1.2 people per square mile, compared with 87.4 people per square mile for the entire United States. In contrast, the District of Columbia, with a population of 632,323 has a population density of 9,856 people per square mile.

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