Watch Real-Time Births and Deaths in the U.S. — It's Mesmerizing, Sobering


According to new data released by the Census Bureau at the start of 2014, a person will be born in America every 8 seconds in January, and die every 12 seconds.

But what does that look like?

Brad Lyon, who holds a doctoral degree in mathematics and does software development, wanted to provide a visual of this sort of data. In 2012, he and designer Bill Snebold made this simulation map of births and deaths in the U.S.

Kind of eerie.

Overall, the country's population growth is at historic lows, the lowest rate since the 1930s. As of New Year's Day 2014, the U.S. had 317,297,938 people. This is down from a 0.7% growth rate, down from a 0.73% in 2010-2011 and much lower than the 1.2% growth rate of the 1990s. The 1990s was a decade of economic expansion and relative prosperity. The U.S. has since waged two costly wars and faced two economic meltdowns, all of which have contributed to changing growth dynamics in the country.

The real-time map is a simulation, providing a qualitative view of births and deaths. 

"[The map] can apparently seem to evoke a strange mixture of emotions," Lyon, the map's creator, said. "At least for me, it is a bit overwhelming and sobering, and provides some perspective on how big 300 million+ really is. However, if the rates and population counts are correct, something like this is actually happening as I type this. It's just weird."

The U.S. population is on pace to increase 44% by 2050. The American population is also getting older (just check out this simulation). As time progresses, young people will make up a smaller percentage of the U.S. population, while those above the age of 50 will comprise a larger percentage. America in 2050 will have an overall older population than it does in 2014, and far older than it had in 1960. Currently, there are about 53 million young people (18-29 years old) in the U.S., making up around 17% of the population. 

America is changing, and the real-time map shows just how fast those changes are occurring.