A Millstone or Milestone?

October 3, 2006

Some time in the next week or so, the U.S. population will top 300 million. At a time when other industrial powers such as Japan, Russia and much of Europe are losing population, the fact that the U.S. continues to motor along adding citizens is quite an achievement—even if a few naysayers argue that the growing population contributes to pollution, deforestation and overcrowding. In fact, Americans now require about 20% more developed land per capita for housing, schools, roads and shopping than they did back in 1986, according to a study by the Center for the Environment and Population. Still looking for that second—or third—vacation home?

Despite the problems that are inherent with a growing population, the 300 million mark is really a tribute to the U.S. system. While the positive U.S. birthrate will continue to add to the population—a newborn arrives every seven seconds—a bigger reason for the growth is immigration. According to the Census Bureau, an international immigrant arrives in the U.S. every 31 seconds. By 2050, Americans of European descent will make up less than 50% of the population. That factoid will probably have a bigger impact on the personal and household care industry than the growth rate. After all, companies that successfully identify and target the changing face of America stand a better chance of succeeding than those who continue to offer a one-size-fits-all formula.

This month, Happi.com includes an in-depth look at the ethnic skin care market. Also this month, we report on the fast-growing market for testing services. In addition, we take a look at the latest trends in household and personal care wipes. Finally, if you’re looking for a production partner for your new cosmetic or cleaner or household wipe, peruse our directory of contract manufacturers. It has been updated and expanded for 2006-07.

Be sure to check back with us in 2099 when the U.S. population is expected to top 600 million—no doubt there will be plenty of opportunities to sell more skin creams, shampoos and laundry detergent to an eager audience!

Tom Branna
Editorial Director

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