Dec 29, 2023 - Politics & Policy

America’s slowest population growth since Great Depression

Breadline of unemployed in Manhatthan, early to mid-20th century. Photo: Visual Studies Workshop/Getty Images

If the current U.S. growth pace continues through the decade, the 2020s will be the slowest-growing decade in the nation's history, according to William Frey, a well-known Brookings demographer.

Why it matters: Previously, the slowest-growing decade was the 1930s, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, Frey told AP.

By the numbers: On New Year's Day, the U.S. population will be nearly 336 million — up nearly 2 million (0.53%) from a year ago, the Census Bureau projected Thursday.

  • That's a 0.53% growth rate.
Estimated global population
Data: Census Bureau. Chart: Axios Visuals

Zoom out: The U.S. growth rate is roughly half that of the globe.

  • The Census Bureau says the world population on New Year's Day will be just over 8 billion — up from 7.9 billion a year ago.
  • That's an increase of 75 million, for a 0.95% growth rate.

Zoom in: In January, 4.3 births and 2.0 deaths are expected worldwide every second, the Census Bureau projection says.

  • In the U.S. in January, one birth is expected every 9.0 seconds and one death every 9.5 seconds.

Net migration from other countries is expected to add one person to the U.S. every 28.3 seconds, the report adds.

  • Add up births, deaths and migration, and the U.S. population will grow by one person every 24.2 seconds.

Go deeper: See our interactive map, with county-by-county data, of the fastest-growing (and shrinking) states.

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