WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau, citing a "slight" natural increase in the nation's population and "substantial" immigration, today said U.S. population on Jan. 1, 1988, was 245.11 million--up 2.3 million from the start of 1987.
The new estimate, the bureau said, was an increase of 18 million since the 1980 census.
The bureau said the new total, reflecting population growth in calendar year 1987, included "a slight increase" of 1.7 million in "natural growth"--3.8 million births minus 2.1 million deaths--and a net immigration of 600,000, including 200,000 illegal aliens.
Census Bureau population figures have included the 200,000 illegals as a standard component of its estimates since 1980.
"The absolute number of births in 1987--3.8 million--reflects a continuation of the gradual increase in births that has been occurring since the mid-1970s," the report said.
The bureau also reported that the nation's black population grew by 1.5% in 1987, compared with a growth of 0.7% for the white population--although rates of growth have declined substantially for both groups since 1960.
"Fueled by high levels of immigration, the population of other races continued to grow rapidly, increasing by 4.5% in 1987," the report said.
The proportion of immigrants from Europe has declined from 41.8% of the number of all legal alien immigrants in 1964 to 11.5% in 1986, the report said. The number of Asian legal immigrants grew from 7.5% of the total to 43% in 1986.