Covid-19 Drives U.S. Population Growth to Record Low

America’s population grew 0.1% this year, the lowest rate on record, according to Census Bureau figures released Tuesday that show how the pandemic is changing the country’s demographic contours.

The U.S. added just 393,000 people in the year that ended July 1 for a total population of 331.9 million.

Population growth had been slowing before the pandemic, but it had averaged more than 2 million a year over the last decade.

California, which recorded only its second decrease ever after logging its first last year, dropped by 0.7%. The District of Columbia’s population dropped 2.9%. More broadly, the Midwest lost 0.1% and the Northeast lost 0.6%. The West was essentially flat, while the South gained 0.6%. Texas, the largest Southern state, gained 1.1%. States that grew the most included Idaho, Utah and Montana.

Population growth is expected to remain low because the aging population is likely to pressure mortality rates and because the lull in births appears to be continuing, he said.

Even before the pandemic, the surplus of births over deaths was narrowing as the population got older and births dwindled.

Despite slowing growth, projections by the Census Bureau and the United Nations show the U.S. population is expected to continue growing at least through the middle of the century.

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