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THE OPTIMUM POPULATION FOR THE UNITED STATES

JAMA. 1940;115(26):2282-2283. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810520044013.
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The changed complexion of national life which is portended by present trends in population has been discussed frequently by The Journal.1 All the evidence of probabilities foreshadows a more or less static population or possibly a slight decrease late in this century, with a shift in age groupings resulting in a larger percentage of the total in the older years and a smaller one of children. This prospect, though contrary to an accustomed pattern, need not give rise to alarm. If, for example, the productive age group is considered to be between the ages of 20 and 65, the percentage of the total population between these ages is sure to increase for another ten years at least and will, even in the event of a slight decrease in total population, remain amply sufficient to support the groups of the population which are dependent on account of age. The percentage

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