Census Bureau Notes Decline in U.S. Population Growth

The U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates on December 30, 2019 indicating that U.S. population growth slowed between 2018 and 2019.  The report notes that population growth is a fixture of natural growth due to births, plus immigration to the U.S.   The report notes that

(i)n 2019, natural increase dropped to 957,000, marking the first time in at least four decades that it slipped below a million, continuing the trend toward fewer births and more deaths.

International migration, the other source of population growth, has been gradually declining each year since 2016. Between 2018 and 2019, the nation’s population increased 595,000 due to net international migration, compared to 1,047,000 in 2016.

USCIS data for FY 2018 (the most recent full year available) shows a 7.34% decrease in new permanent residents (“green card” holders) since FY2016.  As the U.S. population continues to age and retire from the workforce, and fertility rates decrease, immigration is a key source of new population, and this downward trend should cause concern.

As this recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal notes, the nation’s demographics, coupled with declining immigration, may spell trouble for the country’s continued economic growth.