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U.S. population growth in 2021 slowest since nation’s founding

The U.S. population grew just 0.1 percent in 2021, the slowest rate since the nation was founded in the 18th century, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau attributed the slow population growth to the Covid-19 pandemic, though the country has been experiencing low birth rates for several years. Low population growth in recent years has historically been attributed to simultaneously rising death rates of an aging U.S. population and falling declining rates in both births and migration.



Studies showed that net migration from Puerto Rico and foreign countries declined during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Census Bureau, 2021 is the first year since 1937 that the population has grown by fewer than one million people and is also the year with the lowest number of people added to the population since 1900. The population growth rate also stalled to historically low levels in 1918 and 1919, due to the Spanish Flu pandemic and World War I.

Idaho added the most to its population in 2021, with 2.9 percent growth. The District of Columbia and New York had the greatest population declines, losing 2.9 percent and 1.6 percent of their populations, respectively.

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