The Slowest Growth on Record for the Nation’s Population

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2021 national and state population estimates and components of change released, the population of the United States grew in the past year by 392,665, or 0.1%, the lowest rate since the nation’s founding. The slow rate of growth can be attributed to decreased net international migration, decreased fertility, and increased mortality due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Highlights:

  • The largest net domestic migration gains were in Florida (220,890), Texas (170,307) and Arizona (93,026).
  • With a population of 29,527,941 in 2021, Texas had the largest annual and cumulative numeric gain, increasing by 310,288 (1.1%) and 382,436 (1.3%), respectively.
  • New York had the largest annual and cumulative numeric population decline, decreasing by 319,020 (1.6%) and 365,336 (1.8%), respectively.
  • Over the past year, the District of Columbia’s population declined by 2.9%, or 20,043 residents, to a population of 670,050 in 2021. This was the largest annual percent decrease in the nation.
  • Three states had populations above 20 million in 2021: California (39,237,836), Texas (29,527,941) and Florida (21,781,128). New York dropped below 20 million people in the last year, decreasing from 20,154,933 to 19,835,913.
  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia saw positive net international migration. Florida (38,590), Texas (27,185) and New York (18,307) had the largest population gains from net international migration.
  • Twenty-five states experienced natural decrease in 2021, where there were more deaths than births. This was attributed to further decreases in fertility combined with increased mortality. Florida had the highest natural decrease at 45,248, followed by Pennsylvania (30,878) and Ohio (-15,811).
  • In 2021, 20 states and the District of Columbia lost residents via net domestic migration. Largest domestic migration losses were in California (-367,299), New York (-352,185) and Illinois (-122,460).

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