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The US population is growing, but the growth rate remains near historic lows

Texas gained 471,000 residents to lead the nation in population growth, followed by Florida (417,000), North Carolina (133,000) and Georgia (125,000). While Florida saw the largest percentage change, growing 1.9%, smaller states like Idaho (1.8%) and South Carolina (1.7%) ranked among growth leaders.

New York, which lost 180,000 inhabitants, California (114,000) and Illinois (104,000) are the states which have lost the most people. These states have generally depended on immigration to growth, but the increase in the number of new foreign-born residents this year has not been enough to offset the number of residents moving to other regions.

Growth in the country was highly concentrated. Texas and Florida, which make up 16% of the nation’s population, accounted for 71% of population growth last year, with those states leading the nation in attracting both immigrants and residents of other states. .

California gained the most people through immigration, but also lost the most residents who moved to other states.

Regional patterns unfolding in 2022 are in many ways a continuation of long-term national trends. Since 1990, the population has increased by almost 50% in the South and West of the United States, but only increased by 12% in the Northeast and 15% in the Midwest.

The pandemic has helped accelerate a shift in how demographic shifts play out.

Until recently, natural change – births minus deaths – had always been the main driver of growth in the United States. But even before the pandemic hit, the aging nation was already experiencing declining fertility and rising deaths.

The pandemic has killed more than a million Americans and made immigration an increasingly important factor in population growth, even as immigration itself has declined in the latter part of the past decade and over the past decade. start of the pandemic. Today, with the Census Bureau estimating a sharp increase in the number of foreign-born residents, the role of immigration in population growth is remarkable.

In 24 states, the number of deaths exceeded births, a “surprisingly high” number, according to Kenneth Johnson, a sociologist at the University of New Hampshire. “It’s very unusual historically,” he added, noting that before the pandemic, it was typical for only one or two states to demonstrate such a trend each year.


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