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Population Growth at 80-Year Low

William H. Frey reveals the most important takeaways from the recent population data released by the U.S. Census, and recommends the country focus on caring for an aging population and leveraging immigration for economic growth.
December 25, 2018, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"While 2018 was a year of economic revival with historically low unemployment and rising wage growth, demographic indicators stand in contrast, seemingly ushering in an era of population growth stagnation," according to an article by William H. Frey.

That's the findings of Frey's analysis of Census Bureau population statistics for the fiscal year ending in July 2018. "Their data show that the national rate of population growth is at its lowest since 1937, a result of declines in the number of births, gains in the number of deaths, and that the nation’s under age 18 population has declined since the 2010 census," according to Frey.

Frey credits the long-term effects of the great recession and the country's aging population for the trend. The significance of the trend, however, means that policy makers must begin facing the challenges of an aging population like already at work in countries like Japan, Germany, and Italy.

"In particular, it requires a more serious discussion of U.S. immigration policy because of the future contributions that immigrants will make to growing America’s society and economy," concludes Frey.

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Published on Friday, December 21, 2018 in Brookings
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