Population Growth in U.S. Slows

Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau, in a recent article, sought to answer the question, “What's driving the decline in U.S. population growth?”  While the U.S. added 2.9 million people from 2005 to 2006, the nation added only 2.3 million people from 2010 to 2011.  His findings pointed to a number of factors.  Firstly, the plunge in net immigration to the U.S. represents a major aspect of the decline.  Additionally, the U.S. has experienced a slower growth in Latino and Asian ethnicities.  At the turn of the century, percent annual change in U.S. population for Asian Americans and Latinos was over 4 percent, whereas today that rate is 2.5% and 2.2% respectively.  Mather also notes that the American population is aging.  While a decade ago, those under 18 contributed nearly 300,000 in population growth, but today, that age group fell by 190,000.  In combination with a rise in the over 65 age group, it is clear that the U.S. population is aging rapidly.  Finally, declining fertility rates are an incredibly important factor in the declining growth.  In 2005-2006, there were 4.2 million births, but today that figure stands at 4 million.  The total fertility rate (births per woman) was 2.1 in 2005-2006, and today it is 2.0.  However, recent statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that this rate could actually fall below 2.0.
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  1. To put things into perspective here is a neat map of the USA population changes by State in recent years..

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  3. Thanks, chartgraph! We will be hosting a similar map on our CensusScope site in its upcoming second edition.