NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Census Found Two Million More Children Than Expected

April 10, 2001

Demographers have been surprised to discover the U.S. has two million more children and young teens than anyone anticipated. An analysis of the April 2000 count put their numbers at 72.3 million.

Experts had earlier predicted the U.S. birthrate would decline, but unexpectedly large number of immigrants and a robust birthrate among minority groups explain the surprising numbers.

  • During the 1990s, the U.S. experienced its second-largest increase in children -- slightly behind the baby boom of the 1950s.
  • Twenty-three percent of all whites are children -- but 35 percent of all Hispanics are children, 34 percent of all American Indians and 31 percent of all blacks.
  • Children are more numerous in the Deep South, in almost every county on the Mexican border, throughout Southern California, in virtually every county in Utah and throughout the Indian reservations of the rural West.

The figures on the abundance of children are not official figures. The Census Bureau has yet to issue that breakdown. But the Scripps Howard News Service calculated the numbers and races of American children by subtracting the adult population from the total population.

Source: Thomas Hargrove and Jessica Wehrman (Scripps Howard), "Nation Experiences Surge in Birthrate," Washington Times, April 10, 2001.


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