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U.S. Population Up 2.3 Million In 1996

The U.S. population increased by an estimated 2.3 million people in 1996, with immigration accounting for one-third of the jump, the Census Bureau said Thursday.

On Wednesday, the first day of 1997, there will be 266,499,365 people living in the United States, according to the census projection, a 0.9 percent increase since Jan. 1, 1996.

The bureau calculated a net 809,000 people migrated to the United States from other countries in 1996 - meaning more immigrants came here to stay than those who left.

The bureau assumed there were 3.8 million births and 2.3 million deaths. And it figured a net 27,000 Americans returned from overseas, including those serving in the military.

The nation’s population is expected to grow by another 2.4 million people in 1997, with birth and death levels expected to remain constant.