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March 6, 1996

Physician Workforce Projections: Too Many or Just Right?-Reply

JAMA. 1996;275(9):685-686. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530330029021

In Reply.  —First, the facts about population: the Bureau of the Census periodically projects the future US population, and each month it estimates what the population was 2 to 3 months earlier. Its most recent estimate (for October 1995) is only 0.2% lower than the population it projected in 1993.1 (There is no 9% variance.1) The Bureau soon will release new projections covering the period 1995 through 2050, and these are within +1.0% of its 1993 projections (G. Spencer, PhD, Population Projections Branch, oral communication, January 16,1996). Thus, the bureau's official figures have not changed significantly since the publication of my article. However, they still exclude the 4 million to 5 million Americans who were undercounted in the 1990 census.2 My projections include the entire population (counted and uncounted, legal and illegal). I am certain of the evidence. There is no contradiction.Second is the matter of