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2021 Census Data Reveals Historically Small Population Gains

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Market Data + Trends

2021 Census Data Reveals Historically Small Population Gains

The US population grew at its slowest pace in recorded history during the COVID pandemic


December 27, 2021
US population graphic
Image: Stock.adobe.com

In 2021, the US population grew just 0.1% as a result of declining birth rates, amplified mortality rates, and less international migration during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Census Bureau reports. The 2021 growth rate marks the smallest increase since the founding of the United States with a gain of less than 1 million people. Historically low population growth in 2021 even dipped below per capita rates from the early 20th century during the influenza pandemic and World War I.

Slower population growth has been a trend in the United States for several years, the result of decreasing fertility and net international migration, combined with increasing mortality due to an aging population.

In other words, since the mid-2010’s, births and net international migration have been declining at the same time deaths have been increasing. The collective impact of these trends is slower population growth.

This trend has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a historically slow population increase in 2021.

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