Day of 6 Billion



» The Facts
» October 12
The Day of 6 Billion
» The Myth of Shrinking Population
» Three Faces of Reality
» Population & the Environment
» Poverty, Population &- Development
» Equality & Equity
Empowerment of Women
» Youth & Population
» Consumption & Resources
» Family Planning & Reproductive Health
» Urbanization & Migration
The New Trends
» Money Matters:
Financial Commitments


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» Contacts:
United Nations
» U.S. Scorecard
» Journalist's Notebook

U.S. Scorecard

The U.S. population in September 1999 was 274 million, third highest in the world. China is still first at 1.25 billion and India is next at 982.2 million, up 84.8 million from 1994. World population as of October 12, 1999 is 6 billion, up 400 million in the past five years. (1)

  • The U.S. rate of natural population increase, excluding immigration, is now 0.6%-1.6 million people per year. Among industrialized nations, only New Zealand (0.8%) and Australia (0.7%) are higher. Europe, Russia and several other countries of the former Soviet Union have a slightly negative natural growth rate. The world average, however, is 1.4%. (2)
  • U.S. legal immigrants will probably number 820,000 in 1999, according to the Census Bureau. (3) Counting both legal immigrants and natural increase, the total U.S. growth rate is 0.9%-faster than all industrialized nations except Canada and Australia. (4)
  • The U.S. fertility rate (average number of births per woman) is 2.07, one of the highest in the industrialized world. Yemen has the world's highest fertility rate, 7.6, with Uganda (7.1) and Niger (6.8) close behind. The lowest rate is 1.1, in Spain. (1)

These growth rates are declining, but the U.N. estimates that U.S. population in 2050 will still grow to be 349.3 million, with global humanity numbering 8.91 billion. (1)

In Mortality

U.S. life expectancy is now 73.4 years for men, lower than in 22 other nations including Cuba, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Japan, Israel, Kuwait, Canada and most of Europe. U.S. women can expect to live 80.1 years, less than in Western Europe (80.9), Greece, Puerto Rico, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. (5)

Globally, the average life is 63.3 years long for men, 67.6 years for women, but in least developed countries it is 49.6 and 51.5 respectively, more than 20 years shorter than in North America. Life expectancy is shortest in Malawi, at 38.9 years for men and 39.6 years for women, and in Sierra Leone, at 35.8 years for men, 38.7 years for women. (5)

U.S. infant mortality is 7 deaths per 1,000 live births, well below the world average of 57 but higher than that in 14 other industrialized countries, and about the same as that in eight other nations. However, the rate for African-American women in the United States is 19.5 - more than three times the rate for white women. (7) Japan's rate is lowest worldwide at 4 deaths per thousand live births, and Sierra Leone is highest at 169. (5)

In Consumption

Each U.S. citizen consumes an average of 260 lbs. of meat per year, the world's highest rate. That is about 1.5 times the industrial world average, three times the East Asian average, and 40 times the average in Bangladesh (6.5 lbs). (7)

The U.S. population is 4.6% of global humanity, but it produces 24% of the world's carbon dioxide output, largely from the burning of fossil fuels. (7)

Directly or indirectly, each U.S. citizen consumes his or her own body weight in primary resources every day: oil, coal, other minerals, and agricultural and forest products. (8)

A child born today in the United States will have a lifetime impact on the environment that is 30 times greater than a child born today in a developing nation such as India. (9)

In Fulfilling the ICPD Commitment

Prior to 1995 budget cuts, U.S. family planning aid was $583 million per year. The FY1999 level is $385 million, down 30%. (10)

Sources: (1) UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 1998 Revision: World Population Estimates and Projections (New York: United Nations), Oct. 28, 1998; and U.S. National Report for the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development, U.S. Department of State; (2) Population Reference Bureau, 1998 World Population Data Sheet (Washington DC: 1998); (3) US Bureau of the Census, "Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050," Current Population Reports, (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1996: 28, Table Q); (4) US Bureau of the Census Web site (http:/; and Population Reference Bureau, 1993 World Population Data Sheet (Washington DC: 1993); (5) UNFPA, The State of World Population 1999; and Population Reference Bureau, 1993 World Population Data Sheet (Washington DC: 1993); (6) U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 18, 1999/48(16);325-7; (7) UNDP, Human Development Report 1998; (8) Alan Thein Durning, How Much is Enough? The Consumer Society and the Future of the Earth (New York: W.W. North & Co., 1992); (9) Al Gore, Report of the President's Commission on Sustainable Development (Washington DC: June 1993); (10) Population Action International, "Politics of Population Assistance," PAI Web site (http:/

September 1999