2019 U.S. population growth is slowing

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/04/2020 10:00 AM
WASHINGTON – According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s national and state population estimates released Dec. 30, 42 states and the District of Columbia had fewer births in 2019 than 2018, while eight states saw a birth increase.

With fewer births in recent years and the number of deaths increasing, natural increase (or births minus deaths) has declined steadily over the past decade. 

“While natural increase is the biggest contributor to the U.S. population increase, it has been slowing over the last five years,” Dr. Sandra Johnson, a demographer/statistician in the Population Division of the Census Bureau, said. “Natural increase, or when the number of births is greater than the number of deaths, dropped below 1 million in 2019 for the first time in decades.” 

The nation’s population was more than 328.2 million in 2019, growing by 0.5% between 2018 and 2019, or more than 1. 5 million people. Annual growth peaked at 0.73% this decade in the period between 2014 and 2015. The growth between 2018 and 2019 is a continuation of a multiyear slowdown since that period. 

The South, the largest of the four regions with a population of more than 125.5 million in 2019, saw the largest numeric growth (1,011,015) and percentage growth (0.8%) between 2018 and 2019. This growth is driven mainly by natural increase (359,114) and net domestic migration (407,913), which is the movement of people from one area to another within the United States.

The Northeast region, the smallest of the four regions with a population of more than 55.9 million in 2019, saw population decrease for the first time this decade, declining by 63,817 or -0.1%. This decline was due to net domestic migration (-294,331), which offset population gains from natural increase (97,152) and net international migration (134,145), or the difference between the number of people moving into the country and out of the country. 

Forty states and the District of Columbia saw population increases between 2018 and 2019. Ten states lost population between 2018 and 2019, four of which had losses over 10,000 people.

The 10 states that lost population were New York (-76,790; -0.4%), Illinois (-51,250; -0.4%), West Virginia (-12,144; -0.7%), Louisiana (-10,896; -0.2%), Connecticut (-6,233; -0.2%), Mississippi (-4,871; -0.2%), Hawaii (-4,721; -0.3%), New Jersey (-3,835; 0.0%), Alaska (-3,594; -0.5%) and Vermont (-369; -0.1%).

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