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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Cartogram: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The U.S. population grew by 0.1% in the year that ended July 1, the slowest rate since the nation's founding, according to Census Bureau estimates released Tuesday.

Why it matters: The bureau said the "slow rate of growth can be attributed to decreased net international migration, decreased fertility, and increased mortality due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic."

By the numbers: The bureau estimates that the population grew by 392,665 people between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021.

  • The nation's growth was caused by a natural increase (the number of excess births over deaths) of 148,043 and a net international migration of 244,622. It's the first time that migration surpassed natural increase, the Census Bureau said.

Zoom in: "Between 2020 and 2021, 33 states saw population increases and 17 states and the District of Columbia lost population, 11 of which had losses of over 10,000 people. This is a historically large number of states to lose population in year," the Census Bureau said.

  • Texas saw the largest increase in total population, and Idaho's population grew at the fastest rate.
  • Texas, California and Florida all had populations of over 20 million people. New York dropped below that amount last year.

Puerto Rico’s population decreased by 17,954 people, or 0.5%, between 2020 and 2021. The bureau said the decrease was due to "natural decrease (-14,173) and negative net international migration (-3,781)."

Between the lines: Population growth has been slowing down in the U.S. since before the pandemic.

What they're saying: "Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population," Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau, said in a statement.

  • "Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in an historically slow pace of growth," Wilder added.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Jan 14, 2022 - Economy & Business

Record level consumer demand drops as high prices surge

Data: FRED; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Record levels of consumer demand are petering out as high prices cut into wages and add to household worries.

Why it matters: Shoppers will hold off on buying if goods get too expensive — a trend that if big enough could slow down economic growth.

1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.