U.S. population growth dipped to its lowest rate since the nation’s founding during the first year of the pandemic.
New figures released Tuesday showed that the United States grew by only 0.1 percent from July 2020 to July 2021. The Census Bureau said the population grew by just 392,665 people over that 12-month span, bringing the county’s total population to 331.8 million.
Americans also moved from state to state last year, with California, Illinois, and New York losing hundreds of thousands of residents and Western states such as Texas, Arizona, Florida and Montana seeing gains.
What caused the dip? Census Bureau officials said COVID-19 deaths, reduced immigration, and delayed pregnancies led to the small growth figures.
U.S. population growth has lagged for years, but this was the first time since 1937 that the nation’s population grew by fewer than 1 million people. And in spite of lower immigration during the pandemic, officials said the growth from net immigration (244,622) for the first time exceeded the growth from natural increase (148,043), or new births minus deaths.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.