US Population Over Last Decade Grew At Slowest Rate Since 1930s
Over the past decade, the United States population grew at the slowest rate since the 1930s, the Census Bureau reported on Monday, a remarkable slackening that was driven by a leveling off of immigration and a declining birthrate. The New York Times reports: The bureau also reported changes to the nation’s political map: The long-running trend of the South and the West gaining population — and congressional representation — at the expense of the Northeast and the Midwest, continued, with Texas gaining two seats and Florida, one. California, long a leader in population growth, lost a seat for the first time in history. […] The numbers are the product of the most controversial census process in decades. The Trump administration tried to add a citizenship question to the Census form, but the Supreme Court eventually blocked that plan. […] The Bureau also faced a daunting task of conducting the Census during a pandemic. Then, last summer, the Trump administration pushed it to stop the count sooner than planned.

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Booming economies in states like Texas, Nevada, Arizona and North Carolina, have drawn Americans away from struggling small communities in high-cost, cold weather states. In New York, 48 of 62 counties are estimated to be losing population. In Illinois, 93 of 101 counties are believed to be shrinking. In 1970, the West and South comprised just under half the U.S. population — today it’s nearly 63 percent. The new decennial census counted 331,449,281 Americans as of April 1, 2020. The total was up by just 7.4 percent over the previous decade. Combined with the decline in inflows of immigrants, and shifting age demographics — there are now more Americans 80 and older than 2 or younger — the United States may be entering an era of substantially lower population growth, demographers said, putting it with the countries of Europe and East Asia that face serious long-term challenges with rapidly aging populations. “This is a big deal,” said Ronald Lee, a demographer who founded the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging at the University of California at Berkeley. “If it stays lower like this, it means the end of American exceptionalism in this regard.”
It used to be clear where the country was headed demographically, Professor Lee said — faster growth than many other rich nations. But that has changed.
“Right now it is very murky,” he said.

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