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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about the US Population Clock.


CURWOOD: Forget Dow Jones. If you're looking for an index that never seems to go down, try the US Population Clock. Thirty years ago this week the clock passed the 200 million mark. Since 1960 it's charted a population increase of more than 50%. Now, the clock isn't an exact measure of the nation's population. It's an estimate based on the frequency of births and deaths and the number of people coming and going from the country. This week the clock is hovering around 268,500,000, give or take a few souls. As the country grows it's also moving west. You can tell by looking at the center of population. That's the theoretical point on which the US would balance if it were a flat plain and everyone weighed the same. Two hundred years ago the center was 23 miles east of Baltimore. Since then it's moved to more than 800 miles west and sits today just northwest of Steelville, Missouri. According to the population clock, the nation's population will grow by 5 people during this Almanac. That's almost 6,000 people a day, or the entire population of Indiana at the start of the 19th century. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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