US Population Growth Hits Lowest Rate
New data shows that during the first year of the pandemic, America’s population growth fell to its lowest rate since the country’s inception.
The U.S. grew by only 0.1% between July 2020 and July 2021, bringing the nation’s population to 331.8 million people, according to the Census Bureau.
“I was expecting low growth but nothing this low,” said William Frey, a senior fellow at Brookings Metro. “It tells us that this pandemic has had a huge impact on us in all kinds of ways, and now demography.”
“We have an aging population and that means fewer women in child-bearing ages,” Frey said. “We see younger people putting off having children and they’re going to have fewer children.”
This past year was the first time since 1937 that the country’s population grew by less than 1 million people.
“Of course, most of this is COVID, but not all of it,” said Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire. “U.S. natural increase was already at a low ebb prior to COVID with the fertility rate hitting a new record low each year and deaths steadily rising due to the population aging.”
Deaths outnumbered births in more than two dozen states. Florida topped the list with deaths exceeding births by more than 45,000. However, the state still had a net population gain, with more than 259,000 people migrating to Florida — the highest in the U.S.
During the past year, 17 states and Washington, D.C.,’s population shrank. California had the greatest net population loss, with almost 353,000 people vacating the state.