Source of graph: online version of the WSJ article cited below.
The Census Bureau tells us that some time in the weeks ahead the U.S. population will reach 300 million. . . .
This demographic milestone is not cause for alarm — as some prophets of doom would have it. Rather, it is cause for celebration. We 300 million Americans are on balance healthier and wealthier and freer than any population ever: We breathe cleaner air, drink cleaner water, earn higher incomes, have more leisure time, and live in less crowded housing. Every natural resource we depend on — water, food, copper and, yes, even oil — is far more abundant today measured by affordability than when our population was 100 million or even 30 million.
Thanks to the rapid pace of technological progress, there’s every reason to believe these resources will be still more abundant when our population reaches 400 million — which should happen about 40 years from now. As the late economist Julian Simon reminded us, thanks to our free market capitalist system, the history of America is one of leaving the storehouse for every successive generation more endowed with wealth, knowledge and natural resources.
For the full commentary, see:
(Note: ellipsis added.)