University of Pittsburgh
October 15, 2006

Pitt Faculty Experts Available to Comment on the U.S. Population Milestone of 300 Million

The United States is as much a bilingual and bicultural society as Canada, says Pitt expert John Beverley
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—As the nation is expected to reach a population of 300 million at

7:46 tomorrow morning, faculty experts at the University of Pittsburgh are available to offer insight on various implications surrounding this historic milestone.

The following Pitt experts are available to comment:

According to John Beverley, professor and chair in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, "The United States is de facto as much a bilingual and bicultural society as is Canada, for example. The only difference is that Canada has recognized this fact and incorporated it into its national identity and culture—whereas we haven't." Current demographic projections suggest that by 2076, the 400th anniversary of the American Revolution, one in every four U.S. residents will be Hispanic, he says. "Whatever measures are taken to restrict future immigration from Latin America will not change this projection significantly. That is because, with an actual Hispanic population of more than 40 million, the United States is already or about to become the third-largest nation of the Spanish-speaking world, after Mexico and Spain." Beverley is the author of 14 books, including most recently, Testimonio: On the Politics of Truth (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) and Subalternity and Representation: Arguments in Cultural Theory (Duke University Press, 1999). He can be reached at 412-624-6382 and brq@pitt.edu, or through Amanda Leff at 412-624-4238 and aleff@pitt.edu.

"U.S. growth has been far from even," says Christopher P. Briem, regional economist at Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR), adding: "The U.S. population has grown 50 percent, from 200 to 300 million, between 1967 and 2006. Ten states have seen population growth of less than 10 percent in that time, including Pennsylvania (5.4), Ohio (8.3), New York (6.1), and West Virginia (3.7). Population in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, on the other hand, has decreased by 13 percent."

With Temple University, Pitt's UCSUR is a research affiliate of the Pennsylvania State Data Center and maintains a library of census publications open to the public.

Briem's areas of expertise include the Pittsburgh regional economy, local public finance, migration, demographics, and forecasting. Briem has previously served as an analyst in the Congressional Budget Office and as a consultant for Oliver, Wyman and Company and Lehman Brothers. Briem may be reached at 412-624-3791 and cbriem@pitt.edu, or through Karen Hoffmann at 412-624-4356 and klh52@pitt.edu.

Simon F. Reich ['rIk], professor and director of the Ford Institute for Human Security, says the accuracy of census data is questionable because it is not clear whether the immigration figures include illegal aliens, who number an estimated 11-12 million. The rate of growth in the United States will be heavily influenced by immigration policy—given that America's primary source of immigrants, especially Latin American, generally have far higher birthrates than Americans. "Immigrants and their first generation children generally retain linkages to their countries of birth or ancestry," he says. "The growing number of immigrants should see a reorientation of American foreign policy towards countries of their origin as these immigrants become part of the voting population." If this is true, the United States should have "a greater geo-strategic focus on Asia and Latin America, with political candidates not only having to appeal to those voting groups but representatives from those communities assuming prominence in public office." Reich is available through Amanda Leff at 412-624-4238 and aleff@pitt.edu or at reichs@pitt.edu.

###

10/16/06/scl