Monday, August 20, 2012

The Missing Million

There are 1 million missing children in the United States, but you won't find their faces on milk cartons. One million is the difference between the number of people under age 18 projected by the Census Bureau for 2010 and the number counted by the 2010 census.

The Census Bureau's projections were produced in 2008--not all that long ago. Yet they missed the sharp drop in fertility and the decline in births that accompanied the Great Recession. The Census Bureau projected in 2008 that 75.2 million people under age 18 would live in the U.S. as of July 1, 2010. But the bureau's estimates for July 1, 2010--based on 2010 census population counts--show that, in fact, there were only 74.1 million children. Most of the difference (907,000) occurs in the under-5 age group.

And the number of children in the U.S. just keeps on shrinking. The bureau's July 1, 2011, estimate of the population under age 18 is 73.9 million--190,000 less than in 2010.

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