WASHINGTON: The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on population growth as well, as the US population grew at a slower rate in 2021 than in any other year since the founding of this nation.

Statistics released by the US Census Bureau showed that in 2021 the US population grew only 0.1 percent and this is the first time since 1937 that the country’s population grew by fewer than one million people.

This was also the lowest numeric growth since at least 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates.

Apart from the last few years, when population growth slowed to historically low levels, the slowest rate of growth in the 20th century was from 1918-1919 amid the influenza pandemic and World War I.

The new estimates show that in 2021, the population growth declined from the previous year in 31 of 50 states, with 18 states sustaining absolute population losses.

In some states, population losses were exacerbated by inflated out-migration during the pandemic, although Florida and Texas benefitted from greater population in-flows.

The bureau noted that slower population growth has been a trend in the United States for several years, which is the result of decreasing fertility and net international migration, combined with increasing mortality due to an aging population.

Since the mid-2010’s, births and net international migration in the US have been declining at the same time deaths have been increasing. The collective impact of these trends is slower population growth.

The bureau noted that “this trend has been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a historically slow population increase in 2021.”

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2021

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