Shortage of Young Americans As Population Growth Slows

Population Research Institute

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joseph D'Agostino

October 17, 2006 540-622-5240 x 204

Shortage of Young Americans As Population Growth Slows

FRONT ROYAL, Va. - America's population reached 300 million this morning, but there is a shortage of young people in this country.  " Since 1975, the proportion of Americans between the ages of 15 and 24, those who are about to enter or who have just entered the workforce, has been in decline," said Steven Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute (PRI).  " In 1975, it was 18.7%. Today, it is 14.2%. The United Nations Population Division projects it will drop to 13.0% by 2030 and continue declining from there even with our currently high immigration levels. At the same time, those over 65 will swell dramatically in number and percentage. This course is unsustainable. No wonder the United States faces an $80-trillion deficit in Social Security and Medicare alone."

Contrary to what most people think, American population growth is slowing. From 1995-2000, it averaged 2.9 million annually. From 2000-2005, it averaged 2.8 million per year, and is projected to continue to decline for the foreseeable future. Said Joseph A. D'Agostino, Vice President for Communications at PRI: "Labor is a renewable resource, but it is not being renewed fast enough. Much attention is paid to the prevention of overfishing, overhunting, excessive logging and other phenomena that could threaten the supply of vital resources. Why is so little paid to the decline of our most valuable resource of all, human labor? Something has to be done about this soon, because children cannot be manufactured in China and shipped to us in bulk once we suddenly realize we need more."

The United States' lack of young people compared to the rest of the population results from the low American birthrate (below replacement level) and elderly Americans' longer lives.

For more information including an audio clip, go to www.pop.org. To schedule an interview, call Joseph D'Agostino at 540-622-5240 ext. 204. E-mail: jad@pop.org.

Population Research Institute, 1190 Progress Dr.-Suite 2D, P.O. Box 1559, Front Royal, Va. 22630 USA

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