As a geographer, one of the things that’s important to me is putting the United States in a global context whenever I can. So when the U.S. Census Bureau released updated population figures for states today, I decided to revisit one of the most controversial demographic questions: Is the United States overpopulated?

Anxiety about “overpopulation” can be traced back to Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s, the book the Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich in the 1960s, and recently former President Donald Trump’s claim related to immigration that “the U.S. is full.”

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and…

Austin Kocher, PhD

Critical geographer studying immigration, policing, and courts. Visit for more on the current state of the US immigration system.

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