The Myth Of The Three Hundred Million
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[Recently by Kevin Carter: Race And Conservatism Debated At The Robert A. Taft Club (No Thanks To The Leadership Institute)]

You've heard all the hoopla about the 300 millionth "American" that's supposed to appear sometime this month. Don't buy it, says Virginia Abernethy, Professor Emerita of anthropology at Vanderbilt University and Director of Carrying Capacity Network. According to her, America passed that benchmark some six years ago. The real population, she argues, is probably closer to 327 million.

All of this is laid succinctly in her paper, Census Bureau Distortions Hide Immigration Crisis, published under the auspices of Population-Environment Balance, of which she is Chairman, and unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday at the National Press Club. In the paper, she documents considerable evidence that the Census Bureau has consistently underestimated the number of illegal and legal immigrants currently residing in our country. [VDARE.COM note: For Professor Abernethy's paper, click here]

As I know, this is the first full-length critique of the 300 million number. Some of the reasons Professor Abernethy cites to back up her case:

  • During the 1990s, the CB estimated legal immigration at less than 1 million annually. This number did not count refugees or H-1Bs.

  • The CB's middle projection for U.S. population size in 2100 is 600 million. This is 100 million greater than the estimate made as recently as 1994. However, if the US population grows at a rate of 1.06 percent per year, which it did from 1970 to 2000, then by 2100 the US population would reach 810 million!

Not being a statistician, I don't know what to make of these numbers. But it does seem that yesterday's "high end" projections have a habit of becoming tomorrow's "low end" projections. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if the government is being overly conservative with its estimates. I certainly wouldn't put it past them.

These days, I don't think there's much that anyone would.

Kevin Carter [email him] lives in the Washington D.C. area.

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