It seems the United States, much like its citizens, is growing bigger:
The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the 300 million mark will be reached in mid-October, 39 years after U.S. population topped 200 million and 91 years after it exceeded 100 million.
This will make the United States No. 3 in population in the world, after China and India.
Most of the growth is taking place in the South and West, according to the Census Bureau. From 2004 to 2005, U.S. population had a natural increase—births minus deaths—of 1.7 million and international migration of 1 million.
The rest of the article goes on to talk about the enviornmental impact we have compared to the rest of the world. As you can imagine, it’s not pretty.
In the areas of land-use, water, biodiversity, forests, fisheries and aquatic resources, Americans are consuming more than they did in the past. The report found:
—Each American occupies 20 percent more developed land—housing, schools, shopping and roads—than 20 years ago.
—Each American uses three times as much water as the world average; over half the original wetlands in the United States have been lost, mainly due to urban and suburban development and agriculture.
—Half the continental United States can no longer support its original vegetation; nearly 1,000 plant and animal species are listed by the U.S. government as endangered or threatened, with 85 percent of those due to habitat loss or alteration.
—The United States consumes nearly 25 percent of the world’s energy, though it has only 5 percent of the world’s population, and has the highest per capita oil consumption worldwide.
—Each American produces about 5 pounds (2.3 kilogram) of trash a day, up from about 3 pounds (1.4 kilogram) in 1960; the current rate is about five times that in developing countries.