Demographic trends


  • Beginning Population

    Beginning Population
    When America declared independence from Great Britain, it had about 2.5 million people in its borders.
  • Period: to

    American Demographics

  • Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves

    Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves
    The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 outlawed importation of slaves from Africa, effective January 1, 1808. Although not too well enforced, this law contributed to slowing down but not stopping the growth of the black population in early America.
  • Irish Potato Famine

    Irish Potato Famine
    In 1845, a fungus arrived in Ireland from Mexican, causing potatoes to wither and die within a few days of being picked. Within five years, the Irish population was reduced by a quarter. Within ten years, over two million Irish moved to England, Canada, and the United States, working low pay jobs and augmenting the lower class with a cheap source of labor.
  • California Gold Rush

    California Gold Rush
    Gold discovered in California by carpenter and sawmill operator James Marshall. While most of the estimated 300000 “Forty-niners” were Americans from either Oregon or the east coast, many came from Hawaii, Latin America, and China, increasing ethnic diversity and boosting U.S. westward migration.
  • European Spring of Nations

    European Spring of Nations
    In 1848, Europe went through a period of massive upheaval with revolutions in multiple countries. Revolutions in Germany failed, with the conservative government prevailing. Over the next year, over a million Germans immigrated to America.
  • Homestead Act of 1862

    Homestead Act of 1862
    On May 20, 1862,President Lincoln passed the Homestead Act as incentive for Americans to move west. Applicants simply had to be over 21 or the head of a family and live on and improve the land. Greatly increased American population west of the Mississippi.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

    Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    In the spring of 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. Under this law very few Chinese laborers could immigrate to the U.S. . Ethnicity ratios of Asians versus other races fell during this time.
  • Klondike Gold Rush

    Klondike Gold Rush
    An estimated 100,000 people traveled to the Yukon territory at the end of the 19th century on a hunt for rich deposits of gold reported along the Klondike river. Cities were founded as a result, increasing population from the outside. As a side effect, however, t he native Han people suffered greatly, many of them being moved to reservations.
  • The Great Migration

    The Great Migration
    In 1910, three out of every four black Americans lived on farms, and nine out of ten lived in the South. To escape tenant farming and sharecropping, many blacks began moving to northern cities from1910 to 1930. Tension became severe between blacks and Irish, especially in cities such as Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit, where the black population increased by two, four, and seven times respectively.
  • Population Landmark

    Population Landmark
    The American population reached 100 million in 1915.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression
    The 24 of October, 1849, aka Black Thursday, marked the start of the Great Depression, the worst economic disaster in American history. Unemployment rose to 25% of all Americans at one point, and immigration rates plummeted.
  • The Dust Bowl

    The Dust Bowl
    The Dust Bowl of the 1930's was caused by dry farming techniques combined with drought, leading to massive soil erosion and stirring up fearsome dust storms across the American Midwest. With storms peaking in 1934, hundreds of thousands were displaced by the storms, migrating west to California to find jobs on starvation wages.
  • Peak Marriage Rate 20th Century

    Peak Marriage Rate 20th Century
    The 1940 census showed the highest marriage rate at 12.1 marriages per 1000 people. This number fell quickly, rising slowly and peaking again in 1980, though not as high.
  • Employment Peak

    Employment Peak
    In June of 1954, unemployment figures reached 2.5%, the lowest it has been from 1948 to present day.
  • Population Landmark

    Population Landmark
    The American population reached 200,000,000 on June 14, 1964
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    After the fall of Saigon to the Communists at the end of the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese refugees scattered throughout neighboring Asian countries or went to America and Canada. An estimated 1.4 million Vietnamese refugees have entered America since 1975.
  • Illegal Immigration from Mexico

    Illegal Immigration from Mexico
    During the 1980’s, the U.S. saw a spike in illegal immigration from Mexico. This number has been steadily rising, hitting nearly 13 million in 2007. In many areas of the southwest United States, the Mexican population outnumbers the white population.
  • America in Cities

    America in Cities
    By 2000, 82% of Americans no longer lived in the country side. Of these people, over 58% lived in areas with population greater than 200,000.
  • All Time Low Birthrate

    All Time Low Birthrate
    Birthrate was on a general decline through the 20th century, and in 2010 it hit an all time low at 13.5 births per thousand people.
  • Population Landmark (Projected)

    Population Landmark (Projected)
    The American population is expectd to reach 400 million by 2043.