23 US Population Statistics to Keep In Mind for 2023
Updated · May 20, 2023
New York is practically the definition of a melting pot of multi-culti.
We dare you to pick any movie depicting the Big Apple over the past 30 decades. You will inevitably be bombarded by images of half-naked graying cowboys, rasta-waving Latino teens, and curiously dressed drag queens.
But what about the rest of the United States? Is it as heterogeneous in terms of race, gender, and age as supercities like New York? Or are we biased because of Hollywood?
In order to unravel this mystery, we have systematized and showcased the most important US population statistics of today.
Let’s dive into the depths of raw data.
Captivating Facts About Those Living the American Dream (Editor’s Choice)
- The US is the third most populated country in the world, with around 330 million citizens in 2021.
- In 2020, there were roughly 258 million adults living in the US.
- 4.5 million Native Americans abide in the US, with the majority living in Alaska.
- How many Black people are in the United States? As of 2021, Black people comprised 13.4% of the nation’s population, which is about 44 million people.
- Nebraska has 6.15 million cows and only 1.87 million people.
- Women make up 51% of the population in the United States.
- There are 20 million members of the LGBTQ+ community in the country.
- The average age of a modern-day US citizen is 38.5 years.
- Around 38% of adults prefer not to be tied down in a romantic bundle—still, 61.45 million people were married as of 2021.
- The United States is the most populous Christian country in the world, yet 30% of US adults are now religiously unaffiliated.
US Population by Age
The US population has remained on a fairly steady path of growth due to medical advancements and overall socio-economic stability and development.
Yet, hampered by a slowly plummeting birth rate coupled with a rising life expectancy for the elderly, the United States might be setting itself for a demographic crisis.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start with the basics.
1. Just how big is the US population, really?
Official US population statistics from 2021 pinpoint the total number of Americans at 329.5 million.
This earns the US the third spot on the list of the most populous countries. China and India take the lead, both countries are close to a tie-in.
China houses 1.41 billion people, whereas India is gaining fast with its 1.39 billion.
2. How many adults are in the US?
(Source: United States Census Bureau)
Judging by the 2020 stats, 77.9% of the entire population (258.3 million) are older than 18. The largest share of the population (7%), though, is made up of those between the ages of 25–29.
Fun fact: The South is the region that has the most adults in terms of numbers (98 million) but the least in terms of percentage (77.5%). The Northeast is the exact opposite: just 46 million adults represent 79.7% of the population.
3. In 2020, there were 55 million elderly Americans in the country.
The United States’ elderly population statistics paint a somewhat confusing picture. The states that house the biggest chunks of the elderly population (i.e., 65 and up) do not evoke an image of an increasingly aging community.
In fact, California is usually associated with showbiz, surfing, and suntanned, happy-go-lucky youngsters. Yet, that same state is home to the largest population of elderly folks.
Next on the list is Florida, with 4.6 million residents who are older than 65.
4. One in five Americans will be above 65 in ten years’ time.
Forecasts bathe the aging American population statistics in an unfavorable light.
In 1950, old people accounted for only 8% of the entire population. Yet 2020 witnessed a rise to almost 17% of this age group—which is slightly alarming when you think about it in terms of retirement and pensions, but that’s a story for another day.
Although the figures for 2050 are nothing more than a guesstimate, conjectures nail the total at 22%.
Fun fact: Did you know that an average of 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age every year? No wonder the US’ population statistics show such a steep curve.
5. Back in the 1950s, the fertility rate stood at around 3.5%.
That was actually the bare minimum that could sustain the population size at the time. Nowadays, this number has plunged to 1.78%—which is not-so-great news for the economy.
Why aren't there as many babies anymore?
Well, it’s a combination of factors. Nowadays, life expectancy and education rates are on the rise, people are getting married older, and contraception methods are more efficient and widespread, among other things.
6. The West Coast is chill and young in spirit and body.
(Source: World Population Review)
Age demographics by state places Utah, Alaska, and Texas as the youngest states in terms of median age. Those three states don’t exactly scream “West Coast,” we know, but trust us—if we were to split the US in half, the left side of the map would prove to be much younger than the right.
In fact, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are the states with the oldest median age in the country (43). For comparison, the median age in Utah is 31.
US Population by Gender
Starting April 11, 2022, Americans will have a third option on their passports—next to “male” and “female,” they can now select “X” if the traditional options don’t fit their gender identification.
So, any review on US gender statistics will need a quick revamp in the near future—but we’ll worry about that in a few months.
Let’s see what the numbers have to say for now.
7. Women represent 51% of the total population.
Currently, there are about 170 million women and 162 million men in the US. Projections suggest that the gap between the two sexes (in terms of population) will continue to be seven million or so all through 2025.
Fun fact: Only 10 states have more female than male citizens: Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Nevda, and Hawaii.
8. There are more women overall, but only 27% of Congress members are female.
(Source: Represent Women)
US population diversity statistics are definitely worth a second look. Despite the small advantage in numbers that women flaunt over men, they are still not as represented as feminists would hope.
The biggest marker of gender disparity is one telling stat—there is still not a single female president in the history of the United States.
9. By 2012, 3.5% of all Americans had “come out.”
(Source: The Guardian)
That number has doubled by now, as 7.1% of Americans identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community in 2022.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the newer generations that have the highest percentages of non-cishets. For instance, 21% of the Gen Z population claimed their place within this group.
10. What percentage of the US population is, in fact, gay?
(Source: The Hill)
There are about 23 million LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States, which represent a little less than 8% of the total population.
The majority of them, though, identify as bisexual (4% of the entire population). A little less than 10 million (3%) are gay or lesbian, whereas two million citizens identify as transgender.
Fun fact: In 25 years, the approval rate of same-sex marriage rose by 43%. Now, 70% of people in the US agree that Love is Love.
11. The newest stats are in: LGBT population by city.
(Source: NBC News)
You’re most likely to stumble upon committed LGBTQ couples in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. These cities hold the highest percentages of same-sex couples who are living together (a little more than 2% of each city’s households).
You might have thought that big cities (like NYC or LA) would house a more significant percentage of non-heteronormative households. Alas, these metropolises don’t even make it to the top 10.
Since big cities are brimming with humans, the LGBTQ+ community comprises a smaller part of the whole.
US Population by Race
What is the current state of the Native American population?
Is the Asian American group growing exponentially?
How many Black people live in the United States?
You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in the upcoming section.
12. What percentage of the US is White?
In 1980, the race landscape in the country was quite different. At the time, white people made up around 80% of the total US population.
40 years later, the tide has not quite turned, but it has shifted significantly. The current share of the White population has fallen to 60.1%.
13. The obvious question follows: What percentage of the US population is Black?
(Source: United States Census Bureau)
The 2020 official Census numbers place the percentage at 12.4%, compared to 12.6% (or 39 million people) in 2010. What gives?
The explanation might lie in the fact that the overall population is rapidly increasing, and other racial groups are growing at a faster pace. We’ll talk a bit more about this in the following stats.
14. In the 15th century, around 10 million Native Americans inhabited what would later become the US.
Native American statistics set the population size at 4.5 million (including Alaska Natives).
Although this isn’t even half the size of their population in the 1400s, the American Indian and Alaska Native communities have actually grown by 160% in the last decade or so.
Currently, the law recognizes 574 Native American tribes, the biggest one being the Cherokee Nation. About one million people (or 22% of the Native American population) self-identify as a part of it.
Fun fact: Alaska boasts the largest percentage of Native American residents (around 20%). Oklahoma takes second place on the list with 14%.
15. By 2060, there will be twice more Asian Americans than today.
(Source: Pew Research Center)
According to Asian American population statistics, the diverse group accounts for 7% of the total US population. In other words, there are 22.4 million individuals of Asian American origin.
The size of this segment of the population has also skyrocketed since the beginning of the millennium, boasting an outstanding 88% growth.
16. The US army is racially diverse—on the lower ranks.
(Source: US News)
In 2018, 24% of the army personnel were Black, whereas 17% were Hispanic. However, the US army’s race statistics portray reduced diversity the higher you look up the ranks.
Among commanding officers (generals and above), only 10% were Black and 8.6% identified as Hispanic.
Appalling fact: The percentage of Black pilots in the Air Force is the same now as what it was in 1984—just 2%.
17. US education statistics by race still show Whites at the top.
(Source: Education Data Initiative)
In 2019, young White millennials stood a greater chance of completing a graduate or postgraduate degree than people of color. Specifically, they were 55% more likely than Blacks and 114% more likely than Hispanics to earn a University degree.
These gaps were 89% and 240%, respectively, in the year 2000. So, unlike in the army, things have gotten better in the education sector—even if the gap is still quite big.
Fun fact: In some cases, stereotypes are (kind of) true. Asian and Pacific Islanders boast the highest rate of educational attainment in the country—56.5% of them are college graduates.
US Population by Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity are often mistakenly collated in the minds of the ordinary citizen. In US terminology, there are five races: White, Black, Asian American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
Hispanics or Latinos are not a separate race, but an ethnic group, and they’re the biggest minority in the country by far—ethnic minority, that is. Given how many Black people live in the US, there’s no question as to which group accounts for the largest racial minority.
18. How many Hispanics are in the US?
In 2019, there were 60.5 million Hispanics living in the United States, which means they represent about 18% of the country’s population.
The majority of them (61.4%) come from Mexico, but there are more than five million Puerto Ricans and nearly six million Central Americans living in the United States, too.
California, Texas, and Florida have the highest rates of Hispanic population.
19. Most people in the US cite European ancestry.
(Source: United States Census Bureau)
According to US ancestry statistics, 13% of US citizens descended from Germans, 1.2% had a Sub-Saharan African genealogy, and 0.9% came from West Indian parentage.
Future ancestry stats might look quite different in a few years, though.
In the 1960s, most immigrant groups hailed from Europe. The majority of new immigrants, on the other hand, came from the Americas and Asia in 2019.
20. Is American justice color-blind?
(Source: The Sentencing Project)
US prison ethnicity statistics paint a bleak picture for Hispanics, as they can find themselves behind bars 1.3 times more often than non-Hispanic Whites.
The ethnic gap is most glaring in the state of Massachusetts where Latino people are 4.1 times more likely to end up in jail.
Outrageous fact: Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites.
US Population Fun Facts
Enough with the serious information and cold facts!
Let’s check out some of the more peculiar and interest-piquing statistics of the US people.
21. Millennial Americans are living (single) life to the fullest.
(Source: Pew Research Center)
Around 38% of those aged 25–54 in 2019 were living alone.
Okay, maybe not alone alone, but definitely not with a spouse or romantic partner. We’re also excluding pet Yorkies and parents from the count.
Comparatively speaking, the share of single people was a mere 29% in 1990.
Fun fact: Millennials (otherwise known as “people nowadays”) usually marry when they’re 30 years old or so. Their parents, on the other hand, used to tie the knot when they were barely old enough to drink.
22. US population by religion: Keeping the faith?
There is little doubt that the United States is a predominantly Christian country. Protestant Christianity and Catholicism enjoy the greatest popularity rates—35% and 22%, respectively.
The total adds up to 69% when accounting for the 12% of people that simply place themselves under the umbrella term of “Christian.”
Additional religious affiliations include Jewish (2%), Muslim (1%), and Buddhist (1%). A significant percentage of people in the US (21%) do not profess a specific religious belief.
Fun fact: A third of parishioners discovered their preferred church online. Turns out that religious websites are both popular and effective.
23. In 1960, there were 126 million city-dwellers and 54 million rural inhabitants.
American urban population statistics suggest that 272.91 million people live in metropolitan areas, leaving only 57.23 million people to abide in rural areas of the US.
New York is the biggest city—it houses 8.3 million people—but there are 300+ other urban areas in the country, each boasting more than 100,000 residents.
Fun fact: Did you know that there are nine states that have more cows than people? Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming would all have a hard time if cows were to suddenly turn on us humans.
After gathering all these US population statistics, we at Web Tribunal would dare to say that the Land of Opportunity will continue on its multi-cultural journey.
The country might be experiencing the beginnings of a birth-rate crisis, but perhaps immigration—controversial as it may be—can stave off the issue and ultimately save the day?
We’ll just have to wait and see what the new numbers have to say.
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