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Expand chart
Note: Economic Innovation Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

About 80% of U.S. counties lost prime working-age adults between 2007 and 2017, and 65% will lose more over the next decade.

Why it matters: While population decline is affecting parts of every state, the loss of the working-age population is being felt most acutely in places that are already struggling economically, according to an analysis by the Economic Innovation Group and Moody's Analytics.

  • The shrinking worker population makes it tough for hard-hit regions to bounce back. Companies are less likely to invest in places that don't have solid pools of workers. Likewise, it's hard to lure more young, educated workers to a place without many employers.
  • EIG has pitched the idea of place-based visas, or "heartland visas," allowing communities with chronic depopulation to opt-in to hosting visa-holding immigrants to address labor shortages.

What's happening: Some cities in the Midwest with dwindling labor forces are open to having immigrants fill empty jobs, as they are more likely to be of working age — between 25 and 64 — than the native-born population.

Driving the news: The U.S. Conference of Mayors this month adopted a resolution supporting heartland visas, noting "mayors around the country are in fact already making welcoming immigrants and refugees centerpieces of their economic development strategies."

The bottom line: Immigration may be the difference between population loss and growth. And as seen in several metros, such as Detroit, Memphis, Dayton and St. Louis, foreign-born migration helped reverse population decline, according to a recent study by New American Economy.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and to lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Ysidro, California, in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.

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