2021 U.S. Population Growth Lowest on Record

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the of the United States increased by 393,000 to an estimated 332 million from the previous year. In 2021, the estimated population growth rate of 0.12 percent was the lowest since the Bureau began collecting this data beginning in 1900.

Per Census estimates, slower population growth in 2021 was a result of decreasing fertility, net international migration, combined with increasing mortality which was intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On absolute terms, between 2020 and 2021, 29 states saw population increases and 18 states and the District of Columbia lost population. Three states, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia remained virtually unchanged. Texas and Florida posted the largest numerical increases to their population, by 310,000 and 211,000 residents, respectively, among all the states. In percentage terms, Idaho and Utah had the greatest increases at 2.88 percent and 1.72 percent. The five states with the highest population were California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida, the same as last year. Like last year, California’s population decreased for the second year, decreasing by 0.7 percent to 39 million. Twenty-four states’ growth rates exceeded the national growth rate this year, compared to 22 in 2020.

As shown above, six states, Alaska, New Mexico, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio showed minimal to no change in population growth between 2020 and 2021. Many of the interstate movements last year, such as by the states that experienced population decline, were due to shifting preferences on where to live due to the pandemic.

The linked tables here show the population in thousands for each state in 2020 and 2021 and the percentage change from 2020 to 2021.

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