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Expected Pandemic Baby Boom Actually A Bust: U.S. Population Growth At Lowest Rate Ever

Expected Pandemic Baby Boom Actually A Bust: U.S. Population Growth At Lowest Rate Ever

The United States has been experiencing slow population growth for years, mostly due to changing societal trends. But now the COVID19 pandemic has exacerbated that trend. America grew by only 0.1%, with an additional 392,665 added to the U.S. population from July 2020 to July 2021, bringing the nation’s count to 331.8 million people, according to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. rates dipped to their lowest numbers since the nation’s founding during the first year of the pandemic as the coronavirus curtailed immigration, delayed pregnancies, and killed hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents, according to figures released Tuesday. In fact, this past year was the first time since 1937 that the nation’s population grew by less than 1 million people.

Once there’s a handle on the pandemic, the U.S. may eventually see a decrease in deaths, but population growth likely won’t bounce back to what it has been in years past because of fewer births. That will increase the need for immigration by younger workers whose taxes can support programs such as Social Security and Medicaid.

The population estimates are derived from calculating the number of births, deaths, and migration in the U.S. For the first time, international migration surpassed natural increases that come from births outnumbering deaths. There was a net increase of nearly 245,000 residents from international migration but only about 148,000 from new births outnumbering deaths.

In more than two dozen states, deaths outnumbered births. Deaths exceeded births in Florida by more than 45,000 people, but the state’s saving grace was a migration gain of more than 259,000 people, the nation’s highest.

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Between 2020 and 2021, 33 states saw population increases, primarily through domestic migration, while 17 states and the District of Columbia lost population. States in the Mountain West saw the biggest year-over-year growth rate, with Idaho growing by almost 3%, and Utah and Montana each seeing population increases of 1.7%. The District of Columbia lost 2.9% of its population, while New York and Illinois lost 1.6% and 0.9% of their populations, respectively. In pure numbers, California had the greatest net population loss of any state from people leaving: almost 353,000.

 

 

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