Population growth in the United States crept along at its slowest pace in decades in 2019, stymied by a sharp decline in the number of new immigrants, fewer births and the graying of America, reports the NYTimes citing new estimates from the Census Bureau.
The bureau released its national and state population estimates on Monday, the final yearly snapshot of the country’s changing demographics before the decennial census is conducted in 2020.
The numbers serve as a preview of the census counts, which determine everything from how many congressional seats are apportioned to the states to electoral votes and federal funding formulas.
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- A population flatline for the ages: The United States population, which is now 328,239,523, grew by 0.5 percent from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019. The natural increase, which factors in the number of births and deaths, was fewer than one million — the first time it has dropped below that figure in decades, the Census Bureau said.
- Millennials delay having children: In 2019, there were 3,791,712 births and 2,835,038 deaths, which meant that 956,674 people were added to the country’s population estimate, the smallest increase of the decade. As baby boomers approach retirement and as many millennials wait to have children, the population slowdown is expected to continue, demographers say.
- The California exodus: California lost over 400,000 residents under the age of 18 during the past nine years, according to the Census Bureau. The decline could cost the state one of its 53 seats in the United States House of Representatives during the next congressional reapportionment. For the fourth straight year, New York lost population, according to the Census Bureau. It was one of 10 states to go through a decline during the past year, a group that included New Jersey and Connecticut. The top-five states in percentage population gain were Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Texas.