by Crystal Gottfried
People who watch this sort of thing expected America’s 300 millionth citizen to arrive by birth or naturalization yesterday and that has some environmentalists uneasy.
Experts are saying that Americans are consuming more food, energy, and natural resources than ever before and see open spaces shrinking while highways become increasingly snarled with gas-guzzling traffic.
According to an Associated Press news report, population growth only explains part of America’s growing consumption. It’s just as important to realize that where people live, what they drive, and how far they travel to work is just as important.
The U.S. has become a suburban nation and sprawl has become the most predominant form of land use and that requires more vehicles and more miles traveled.
This problem has been discussed intensely in Comal County for the last several years as the area has seen tremendous population growth as the result of land development with residential housing markets breaking construction records in the Texas Hill Country.
Along with land development and the huge numbers of people that have moved into our area in recent years, Texas state transportation officials have been struggling with how to finance road and highway expansions to handle the ever-increasing traffic.
But Texas isn’t the only state that is suffering from the population bulge; a little more than half of all Americans are living in counties along the coasts, including those along the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. And, much of the population has been moving away from larger cities to the suburbs and more open countryside.
Flagler County, Florida, north of Daytona Beach is the fastest growing county in the U.S., with Elk Grove, California, a suburb of Sacramento, the fastest growing city.
The Census Bureau projected that America’s population will reach 300 million at 7:46 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 17. The projection is based on estimates for births, deaths and net immigration adding up to one new American every 11 seconds.
In 1967, the American population reached the 200 million mark. That’s about a 50 percent increase in the last 39 years.