The United States will add 79 million people in the next 40 years, but growth will slow as the U.S population gets older, according to new projections presented Thursday at a meeting of demographers.
The U.S. is expected to cross the 400 million-person threshold in 2058, according to the projections presented at a Southern Demographic Association meeting in New Orleans. The U.S. has about 326 million people today.
Population growth is expected to slow down in the next four decades, going from about an additional 2.3 million per year currently to about an additional 1.6 million people a year by 2060.
Growth comes from immigration and when births outpace deaths, but that natural increase will decline as the nation ages. The nation's median age is expected to go from 38 today to 43 by 2060.
By 2034, the number of people over 65 will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history, according to the projections.
As the number of people over age 65 grows, the share of working-age adults, who pay with their employers for Social Security through a payroll tax, will also decline. Next year, there are expected to be 3.5 working-age adults for every person of retirement age, but that ratio declines to 2.5 by 2060, according to the projections.
Even as the nation ages, it's expected to grow more diverse. People who identify as two or more races will be the fastest-growing group in the next 40 years, its population expanding as births outpace deaths.
Other fast-growing groups include Asians, whose growth will be driven by migration, and Hispanics, whose growth will be driven by natural increases, according to the projections.
The diversification of the U.S. population is coming fastest with children: By next year, no single race group alone will make up more than half of U.S. children.
Non-Hispanic whites currently make up a majority of the overall U.S. population, but they'll decline from 199 million next year to 179 million in 2060, the projections show.