U.S. population growth stagnated at lowest rate on record thanks to pandemic – even slower than during the Great Depression

  • we population growth blocked at its lowest rate ever.
  • The population grew only 0.1% in 2021 – measured from July 2020 to July 2021, according to economists at Wells Fargo.

U.S. population growth fell to its lowest rate on record – even more slowly than during the Great Depression – because of the pandemic.

The population grew only 0.1% in 2021 – measured from July 2020 to July 2021 – which is the slowest growth rate on record since 1900, according to an analysis released Wednesday by Wells Fargo economists on the US Census Database.

For comparison, population growth during the influenza pandemic and World War I hovered just below 0.5%, increasing slightly during the Great Depression to around 0.6%, the data showed.

Economists have attributed the current slowdown in growth to rising death rates, falling birth rates and decreasing international migration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The period 2010 to 2020 marked the second slowest decade in U.S. population growth history,” Wells Fargo economists Mark Vitner, Charlie Dougherty and Nicole Cervi wrote in their analysis.

Thirty-three states, however, saw a net gain in population in 2021 – including Florida, Texas and Arizona – while 17 states and Washington DC saw their net populations decline, the data shows.

Hawaii, Minnesota and Maryland lead the pack of states with the lowest net inland migration from July 2020 to July 2021.

The data comes as the United States prepares to mark two full years of a pandemic, a milestone preceded by a current increase in COVID-19 cases led by the highly transmissible variant Omicron. More than a million new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which broke the previous record.