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Estimating Population Growth: World & United States Population Growth from 1950-2010 with Upper and Lower Prediction Limits - ONYX RESEARCH, INC.®

Estimating Population Growth: World & United States Population
Growth from 1950-2010 with Upper and Lower Prediction Limits

Business and investment growth relies upon increasing demand. Because supply increases as experience and manufacturing efficiencies drive unit costs down, demand is the key growth driver.

Population growth, in turn, drives demand growth. Estimating business and investment growth rates requires population growth estimates.

World population growth from 1950-2010 is shown in Figure 1.

World Population Growth 1950-2010 with Linear Curve Fit and 95% confidence band Figure 1. World population growth from 1950-2010. Data are fit to a line shown in blue. Green lines are upper and lower 95% prediction limits.

United States population growth from 1950-2010 is shown in Figure 2.

World Population Growth 1950-2010 with Linear Curve Fit and 95% confidence band Figure 2. United States population growth from 1950-2010. Data are fit to a line shown in blue. Green lines are upper and lower 95% prediction limits.

Based on Figures 1 and 2, here are the key points:

1. Population growth rates have minimal variation (convenient for forecasting population driven demand growth). As a reference, observe oil price fluctuations, which are highly variable.

  Shanghai Pudong Skyline

2. A linear fit yields reasonable predictive value. Data residuals are unbiased (data suppressed). A linear fit may prove inaccurate if energy and food grow scarce or a communicable disease drastically alters population.


3. Slope values for the world (7.44 x 107 +/- 0.06 x 107) and United States (2.55 x 106 +/- 0.02 x 106) are therefore good predictors for economic, business, and investment models. Error values give an uncertainty estimate for historically-based variability.

4. Popular hope drives some models to assume a growth rate decay. Based on the data it is difficult to make this assumption. The need to breed in the human race is strong. For the foreseeable future, linear growth, catalyzed by innovation, is anticipated.

Recently released 2010 United States census data was compiled into an impressive infographic (embedded below). Use the data to understand how the US population has generally evolved since 1910. Data Source: US Census Bureau.



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