Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
The U.S. Census conducted last year shows a population shift towards the U.S. South and West as people in the United States seek better job opportunities and less expensive housing.
The first batch of data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals lower population growth in the United States than at any other time since the Census began in 1790, except for the 1930s during the Great Depression.
New data from the 2010s showed the US population is also shifting to the South and the West.
While the data released on Monday was relatively straightforward – showing national and state-level population figures as well as how they affect states’ representation in Congress — it contained some surprises and reinforced some well-known trends.
The U.S. population grew to 331 million in 2020, a 7.4-percent growth from the last census in 2010.
The number is just barely above the 7.3-percent growth from the 1930s, a period of slowed growth due to widespread poverty during the Great Depression.
During the Great Recession following the 2008 financial crisis., the drawn-out recovery saw many young adults struggling to enter the job market, thus delaying marriage and limiting family creation — a blow to the nation’s birthrate.
Not only had immigration been dropping even before the pandemic effectively shut it down, but Republicans have largely moved away from the idea of both legal and undocumented immigration – a significant political barrier to the country growing quickly, which has potentially grim consequences for the future of the U.S.
The big demographic advantage the U.S. once enjoyed over other rich nations has evaporated. Now there are more Americans 80 and older than 2 or younger.
John Lettieri, president of the Economic Innovation Group, tweeted after the census data release: “The big demographic advantage the US once enjoyed over other rich nations has evaporated. Now there are more Americans 80 and older than two or younger.”
Similarly, the U.S. also continued its 80-year-long trend of shifting to the South and the West.
Montana, Florida, and North Carolina each experienced enough population growth to tack on an additional congressional seat, while Texas gained two. Colorado and Oregon also gained new seats in Congress, while Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania lost seats.
Interestingly, California, a symbol of American expansion and opportunity, has not been seen as a destination for a new beginning.
California’s growth rate wasn’t adequate enough to retain its 53-seat delegation in the House, as the nation’s most populous state lost a congressional seat for the first time in its history.