The Myth Of The Three Hundred Million

October 12, 2006

The Myth Of The Three Hundred Million
By Kevin Carter

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

Youve heard all the hoopla about the 300 millionth “American” thats supposed to appear sometime this month. Dont 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: We will be posting Professor Abernethys paper in the near future]

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:

According to the Mexican government, some 18 million Mexican citizens are now living in the United States illegally.

The Border Patrol apprehends 150,000 illegal aliens every month, amounting to 1.8 million annually. Since the BP estimates that for every illegal alien apprehended, some 3 to 5 succeed in entering, the total number of illegal aliens that arrive and stay each year is probably far greater than the 500,000 now assumed by the CB.

In 2005, the Department of Education released figures on the projected one-year increase in K-12 public school enrollment (from 2002 to 2003). The estimate was for an 11,000 pupil increase but actual 2003 enrollments came in 339,000 above 2002s level more than 30 times the projected rise.

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

The CBs 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 dont know what to make of these numbers. But it does seem that yesterdays “high end” projections have a habit of becoming tomorrows “low end” projections. It certainly wouldnt surprise me if the government is being overly conservative with its estimates. I certainly wouldnt put it past them.

These days, I dont think theres much that anyone would.

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