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From Pyramids to Pillars: Two Centuries of Change in the U.S. Population, 1860 to 2060

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The United States is an aging country. Already there are more middle-aged people than children and, in just a few decades, we project that older adults will outnumber kids for the first time in U.S. history. But the country’s population did not always look like this. What did it look like in 1860 and how has it changed across the decades?

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*REVISED SEPT. 6, 2018*

Note: The 2017 National Population Projections were revised after their original release date March 13 to correct an error in the calculation of infant mortality rates. The files were removed from the website on August 1, 2018 and an erratum note was posted. The error erroneously caused an increase in the number of deaths projected in the total population. The revised calculation in the infant mortality rate results in a decrease in the number of deaths and a slight increase in the total projected population in the revised series. The error did not affect the other two components of population change used in the projections series (fertility and migration). Additionally, major demographic trends, such as an aging population and an increase in racial and ethnic diversity, remain unchanged.  

​The corrected data files are now available here. Six statements in the news release have been corrected and are highlighted in red below. Please disregard any previous versions. Other applicable news products will be available soon.

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