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Young Population

Swells to 15-Year

High, Says Agency


Confirming what lies ahead for schools, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the nation's youngest population group--the 1-to-4-year-olds--is now larger than it has been for 15 years.

According to the bureau's latest estimates, a total of 17.8 million children are now under the age of 5; the group grew by 9 percent between the April 1980 census and last July 1. The total U.S. population grew by 7.4 million to 234,496,000, the new statistics indicate.

The number of births has increased each year since 1975, according to the Census Bureau, even though the overall fertility rate has remained stable. The population growth is due to the size of the population of women in their child-bearing years.

The number of 14-to-17-year-olds decreased by 9.9 percent over the three-year period, the agency notes. The number of 5-to-13-year-olds also dropped (3.3 percent), as did the number of 18-to-24-year-olds (0.5 percent).

Population groups that grew during the period included 35-to-44-year-olds (14.8 percent); those over 85 (11.7 percent); 75-to-84-year-olds (10.2 percent); and 25-to-34-year-olds (8.3 percent).

The "other races" category of the population (American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, and Pacific Islanders) grew by 23.6 percent, faster than either the black (5.3 percent) or white (2.5 percent) populations, between 1980 and 1983, according to the bureau.

Approximately 70 percent of that growth to 6,394,000 was due to immigration.

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