For Immediate Release, December 31, 2019

Contact:

Kelley Dennings, (919) 355-8102, kdennings@biologicaldiversity.org

Census Estimates More Than 330 Million Americans Will Ring in New Year

Slower Population Growth Good News for Wildlife Habitat, Environment

WASHINGTON— According to population estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 330 million people will ring in the new year in the United States. This is an increase of more than 2 million people from the previous year, nearly the same number added in 2018.

Although population continues to increase, the rate of growth has been slowly decreasing over the past five years. Natural increase, or births minus deaths, is at its lowest rate in decades.

Population growth drives habitat loss and forces competition for natural resources. Wild plants and animals are going extinct at rates 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural background rate due to habitat loss, pollution, climate change and other human-caused problems.

“Slowing birth rates are good news, but still nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended,” said Kelley Dennings, a population campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “For the sake of people and the planet, we need to start talking about our growing population and how reproductive freedom and sex education are critical to protecting our future.”

2020 will mark the next national census. The results collected in the census will determine how billions in federal funding are allocated to communities, supporting schools, fire departments, health clinics and other local resources. It also determines the representation each state gets.

“Some may sound alarm bells over the country’s slowing birth rate, but this should be celebrated, especially if it’s linked to better access to family planning resources,” said Dennings. “Instead of supporting the ridiculous idea of infinite growth on a finite planet, we need to embrace reproductive freedom and figure out the best ways to support communities and the environment. And that starts with everyone responding to the 2020 Census. The results will support communities in creating sustainable development policies that protect habitats, save wildlife corridors for species to move, and embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

The Center's Population and Sustainability program advocates for rights-based, common-sense solutions, including universal access to contraception, comprehensive sexual education, reproductive healthcare and family planning services, empowerment and equality for women and girls, and reducing our environmental footprint.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.