When measured by the population in what would become the United States the month the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. population today, the growth has been extraordinary. According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 2.5 million people living in the thirteen colonies in July 1776 compared to its estimate of 330 million people living in America now.
The Census posted some other data to mark the holiday. The oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence was Benjamin Franklin who was 70. He lived in Pennsylvania at that point. There are 24 countries named after him today, a monument to what he has meant to American history. The youngest signer was Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, who was 25. There are no counties named for him at all.
Virginia had the largest population of the 13 colonies in 1776 at 747,610. It was followed by Pennsylvania at 434,373, and Massachusetts at 378,787. The smallest colony by population was Delaware at 59,094, barely bigger than Rhode Island’s 68,825. Of the thirteen colonies, which all became states, New York is the largest today with a population of 19,542,209, followed by Pennsylvania at 12,807,060.
Today, the World Bank ranks the U.S. as the third-largest country in the world measured by population. Ahead of it are China at 1.44 billion and India at 1.37 billion. Indonesia is in fourth place with a population of 270 million and Pakistan at 216 million.
Based on land purchases and the addition of Texas, the U.S. ranks third among all nations based on square miles at 3.8 million, a fraction smaller than Canada. Russia ranks first at 6.6 million square miles. Just behind the U.S. and Canada, is China at 3.7 million.
The U.S. has the world’s largest economy at $21.3 trillion. This is followed by China at $14.2 trillion, and Japan at $5.2 trillion.
Today, Namibia in southern Africa has a population of 2.49 million or about the same as the thirteen colonies 243 years ago. That low number also makes Namibia one of the least crowded countries in the world