The United States represents a vast area of land with 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million square kilometers) in size. A recent release of population figures by the U.S. Census Bureau (August 25, 2021) puts the current population of the United States at 332,670,912. The population count of the United States based on the 2020 census was 331,449,281 people,
This makes the U.S. is the third most populous country (after China and India) and the fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and China).
The top ten most populous countries are:
- China 1,397,897,720
- India 1,339,330,514
- United States 332,475,723
- Indonesia 275,122,131
- Pakistan 238,181,034
- Nigeria 219,463,862
- Brazil 213,445,417
- Bangladesh 164,098,818
- Russia 142,320,790
- Mexico 130,207,371
Quick Facts About Population Changes in the United States
Per the U.S. Census Bureau, this averages out to a birth every eight seconds and one death every 12 seconds. Every 670 seconds the U.S. gains one new international immigrant. The overall population gain is one net person every 22 seconds.
While the population of the United States varies greatly within the geography of the United States, the average population density is 87 persons per square mile. This makes the United States the 146th most densely populated country in the world.
Population Center of the United States
The mean population center of the United States is a calculation from the U.S. Census Bureau that calculates where the pull of different populations ares is balanced out. Since the first census of 1790, the pull of settlers and migration towards the West Coast has move the mean population center gradually westward.
This map created by the U.S. Census Bureau shows how the mean population center of the United States has shifted from Kent County in Maryland in 1790 to Texas County in Missouri in 2010.
In 2020, the mean population shifted again, moving 18.3 miles (29.5 kilometers) west to Wright County, Missouri from the 2010 mean population center.
Table: National Centers of Population
|Census Year||North Latitude||West Latitude||Approximate Location|
|2020||37.373253||92.173096||Wright County, MO, 9.0 miles north northeast of Hartville|
|2010||37.517534||92.173096||Texas County, MO, 2.7 miles northeast of Plato|
|2000||37.69699||91.80957||Phelps County, MO, 2.8 miles east of Edgar Springs|
|1990||37.87222||91.21528||Crawford County, MO, 9.7 miles southeast of Steelville|
|1980||38.13694||90.57389||Jefferson County, MO, 1/4 mile west of DeSoto|
|1970||38.46306||89.70611||St. Clair County, IL, 5 miles east-southeast of Mascoutah|
|1960||38.59944||89.20972||Clinton County, IL, 6 1/2 miles northwest of Centralia|
|1950||38.80417||88.36889||Clay County, IL, 3 miles northeast of Louisville|
|Coterminous United States1|
|1950||38.83917||88.15917||Richland County, IL, 8 miles north-northwest of Olney|
|1940||38.94833||87.37639||Sullivan County, IN, 2 mile southeast by east of Carlisle|
|1930||39.06250||87.13500||Greene County, IN, 3 miles northeast of Linton|
|1920||39.17250||86.72083||Owen County, IN, 8 miles south-southeast of Spencer|
|1910||39.17000||86.53889||Monroe County, IN, in the city of Bloomington|
|1900||39.16000||85.81500||Bartholomew County, IN, 6 miles southeast of Columbus|
|1890||39.19889||85.54806||Decatur County, IN, 20 miles east of Columbus|
|1880||39.06889||84.66111||Boone County, KY, 8 mile west by south of Cincinnati, OH|
|1870||39.20000||83.59500||Highland County, OH, 48 miles east by north of Cincinnati|
|1860||39.00667||82.81333||Pike County, OH, 20 miles south by east of Chillicothe|
|1850||38.98333||81.31667||Wirt County, WV, 23 miles southeast of Parkersburg2|
|1840||39.03333||80.30000||Upshur County, WV, 16 miles south of Clarksburg.|
Upshur County was formed from parts of Barbour, Lewis, and Randolph Counties in 18512.
|1830||38.96500||79.28167||Grant County, WV, 19 miles west-southwest of Morefiled.|
Grant County was formed from part of Hardy County in 18662.
|1820||39.09500||78.55000||Hardy County, WV, 16 mile east of Moorefield2|
|1810||39.19167||77.62000||Loudoun County, VA, 40 miles northwest by west of Washington, DC|
|1800||39.26833||76.94167||Howard County, MD, 18 miles west of Baltimore.|
Howard County was formed from part of Anne Arundel County in 1851.
|1790||39.27500||76.18667||Kent County, MD, 23 miles east of Baltimore|
National Centers of Population for the 1790 – 2010 Censuses, U.S. Census Bureau
1Coterminous United States excludes Alaska and Hawaii
2West Virginia was set off from Virginia, December 31, 1862, and admitted as a state June 19, 1863.
Map of Where Nobody Lives in the United States
Nik Freeman, who runs a map blog, mapsbynick on tumblr, decided to take a look at where people don’t live across the United States. Using 2010 Census Bureau block data, Freeman pulled census blocks with zero recorded inhabitants. The 2010 Census broke down the areas of the United States into 11,078,300 census blocks. Freeman found that 4,871,270 of the blocks covering an area of 4.61 million square kilometers were uninhabited. A little under half of the census block areas (47%) were vacant.
Freeman noted that two main categories determined areas of human absence. The first is areas where it is physically impossible or challenging to live such as water bodies, steep mountainous terrain, or extreme desert areas. The second are areas where human habitation is prohibited such as protected wilderness areas or military bases.
To explore the map and to see more of Freeman’s analysis of the map visit: Nobody lives here: The nearly 5 million Census Blocks with zero population.
A similar map showing uninhabited areas of France was also recently posted to Freeman’s blog. Created by @matamix, the map uses population data from INSEE to show that about 31% of France is currently unpopulated.
Population clock. (2021, August 26). Census.gov. https://www.census.gov/popclock/