US Population Growth Rate Stagnates With Economy

The recession is taking its toll on the nation's population growth rate. A lagging birth rate and a precipitous drop in immigration, particularly those entering the country illegally, resulted in a 0.7% growth rate. Immigration is at a 20-year low.
December 23, 2011, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

The U.S. Census Bureau reported the growth data on December 21: "The nation's overall growth rate is now at its lowest point since before the baby boom," the Census Bureau director, Robert M. Groves, said in a statement. In 1945, the growth rate declined by 0.3%.

"We don't have that vibrancy that fuels the economy and people's sense of mobility," said William H. Frey, senior demographer at the Brookings Institution.

The decline in birthrates was uneven among demographic groups and states.

"In a particularly striking measure of economic distress, birth rates among Hispanics, who are concentrated in states hardest hit by the economic downturn, like Florida and Arizona, declined by 17 percent from 2007 to 2010, said Kenneth M. Johnson, the senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. That is compared with a 3.8 percent decline for whites and a 6.7 percent decline for blacks."

There are signs of a turn-around in some states.

Florida suffered "net losses of migrants in 2008 and 2009" but saw "a net gain of 108,000 newcomers in the year ending in July." However, once-fast-growing Arizona and Nevada was similar changes.

From U.S. Census Bureau Newsroom: Texas Gains the Most in Population Since the Census: "Texas gained more people than any other state between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011 (529,000), followed by California (438,000), Florida (256,000), Georgia (128,000) and North Carolina (121,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates for states and Puerto Rico. Combined, these five states accounted for slightly more than half the nation's total population growth."

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, December 22, 2011 in The New York Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email