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In the footsteps of Lewis & Clark, US population growth

By Sydney Beveridge


On this day in 1804, two Virginian explorers set out on a journey west in what would become the legendary Lewis and Clark Expedition. And in their footsteps, we can follow America’s expansion west.

Back in 1800 before the epic trip, the US population was 5.3 million. Ten years later, it increased to 7.2 million — a 36 percent increase. As shown in the following maps, this growth continued, and started moving west, adding territories and states along the way.

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The population of the Northeast region — once the focal point of the US — shrank by 1.1 percent from 2000 to 2010. The Midwest also saw a decline in population (1.2 percent). Meanwhile, the South and the West grew, 1.5 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.

Sydney Beveridge is the Media and Content Editor for Social Explorer, where she works on the blog, curriculum materials, how-to-videos, social media outreach, presentations and strategic planning. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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  1. [...] Social Explorer and Oxford University Press took a trip through the American West 200 years ago. ┬áSee the blog post here and on Oxford’s website. [...]

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