Highest population a US with these borders could achieve?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by NAF, Feb 10, 2019 at 3:30 AM.

  1. NAF Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2017
    upload_2019-2-10_3-17-33.png

    Let's just assume that after the ARW the North and the Deep South split, with the latter becoming either independent or remaining under British control. Assume that history develops in a way that makes US expansion past the pictured borders infeasible.

    What is the highest population this US can have by the modern day? Does 300 million sound possible, or does that seem totally unrealistic?

    What is the highest population to where they can still enjoy close to the living standards that those in the US have today?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 3:36 AM
  2. Richard V Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    It would still have similar population density to Japan, so no reason you can’t support that many people. But why would a country the size of Iran attract so many immigrants over the centuries?
     
  3. NAF Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2017
    With 300 million people in the pictured borders, it would actually have about half of Japan's population density at around 429 people per square mile (if my math is right), so it's definitely not too crazy of an idea. I do agree with you that the question is not if this US can support that many people, but rather how it would go about getting such a high population in the first place.

    Perhaps this US is much less restrictive on non northern/western/central European immigrants than in OTL?
     
  4. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Tennessee, North American Union
    Not totally unrealistic but close to it. The uppermost end would probably be about 250 million.

    Population doesn't really matter much here.

    Why would it not attract immigrants when it has a burgeoning industry and plenty of farmland? Germans and other immigrants were in the US before there even was a US.
     
  5. Richard V Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Of course it would attract immigrants, just not as many. It’s the same reason UK doesn’t have a hundred million people.
     
  6. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    Location:
    DFW area, Texas (no, Tibecuador)
    now I'm imagining a Shinkansen of sorts running from OTL Northern Maine all the way to Wilmington NC...
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 6:09 AM
  7. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Tennessee, North American Union
    Size of a country has almost nothing to do with the amount of immigrants a country receives. Luxembourg, Qatar, etc. are testimonies to this. Considering this United States still has the Midwest with all its farmland and all the rich industry and mining opportunities of Pennsylvania, etc., there isn't much reason it can't receive just as many immigrants proportionally as the OTL US and possibly more.
     
    EnvarKadri likes this.
  8. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    And just maybe we make alliances with some Native American peoples, because we kind of need more people :)
     
  9. H.Flashman(VC) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Vijfherenlanden, Netherlands
    Basically i agree, but i can think of one reason why immigration in the 19th century would be lower. One of the pull factors of the USA was the seemingly unlimited possibility to own a piece of land. This was the ideal of many immigrants who after all came from european agrarian communities, and wanted to do what they always had done, that is farming, but couldn't because they were made redundant. When they arrived, they ussualy found out that that ideal was much harder to achieve than initialy thought and many got stuck in the cities and got a job in manufacturing. Now if that image of endless landexpansion is not present, many may chose to migrate to the closer european cities instead.
     
  10. Intransigent Southerner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Location:
    Wúshēng Lǎomǔ's Jade Pond
    A TL that goes better than OTL for Native Americans will almost always mean a less populated USA.
     
  11. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    From a recent thread, we just basically have to get lucky that the more minor variant of smallpox gets here first. And maybe the more minor variant of measles, too, but smallpox is the big one.

    And perhaps not outrageously lucky. Let’s say luck within the top 30 percentile.
     
  12. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    [​IMG]
    Trade partners give you a head start over starting afresh,

    however, if we get medium lucky on disease,

    it will likely be even a more acute and bigger issue the fact that Native peoples generally use the land lightly, at least by European standards and norms.
     
  13. SeaCambrian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Well, only if the cause is the U.S. annexing less land (e.g. no Louisiana Purchase) and was as a result more urbanized. Urbanization reduces population growth so it would slow the westward expansion.

    Otherwise, most reasons why the U.S. would have a lower population (such as reduced immigration due to anti-immigration policies; a CSA victory; a more militarized country; more economic depression and desperation; or more disease) would probably negatively affect Native Americans as well.
     
    Fabius Maximus likes this.
  14. Thisisnotausername Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    The region's OTL population is something like 150 million. It could conceivably support twice as many people, but I'm not sure how it would become so populous in the first place.

    You're not really going to see decreased living standards with a higher population except to the extent that it places a strain on things like the water supply or the ability of the environment to absorb pollution. Not sure off-hand how far you could push those, though.

    The problem with the Midwest attracting farmers is that this US has a lot less Midwest to offer, and so agricultural immigration will cease much earlier as the US runs out of available land. OTOH, this US could conceivably receive more immigration proportionately, as it excludes regions such as the Deep South that historically received little immigration. On the other other hand, all the factors you bring up are ones that existed in OTL, and without some sort of dramatic change either to them or other parts of the world, I don't see how you could get so many more immigrants out of them that you'd double the region's population relative to OTL by the present day.
     
    Fabius Maximus likes this.
  15. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Tennessee, North American Union
    The land will run out earlier, but the land in that map is still most of the good farmland in the US. And even in the cities and towns, the US had higher wages IIRC than most European countries did in the 19th century.
     
    H.Flashman(VC) likes this.
  16. Tsochar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    Eagleland
    The US had enormous growth rates for most of its existence, around 3% per annum until the civil war, then 2.5% until the 1880s, 1.9% until WW1, 1.5% until WW2, and fluctuating thereafter. If the ACW was prevented entirely, that might give you an extra 5% population. A much more liberal immigration policy could give another 10-15%. So, on the whole, I'd say 180 million at most.
     
  17. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK
    It's going to be "filled up" by about 1880, perhaps earlier, and going to follow a growth pattern more like western Europe instead of the traditional American one.
     
  18. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    The Chaos TL
    And what happens to the rest of current-US?
     
  19. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Vive L'Empereur du Louisianne?
     
  20. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Those lands OTL have 145 million people. 200-220 is pretty feasible if fewer people go west of the Mississippi and you don't have a civil war.
     
    Dingus Khan and TimTurner like this.