In this brief, author Kenneth Johnson reports that the first data from the 2020 Census reveal a significant slowdown in U.S. population growth. Population change varied considerably from state to state. Fourteen states had population gains exceeding 10 percent, 20 had population gains of less than 5 percent, and 3 lost population. States’ population changes were influenced both by migration and the balance between births and deaths.

Looking ahead, the short-term prospects for substantial population increase appear limited. Even aside from the COVID-19-related deaths following the April 2020 Census, mortality is likely to rise among an aging U.S. population and the decline in births is ongoing. This leaves little likelihood of significant natural gain in the short term. Immigration also remains at a low ebb.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2021


National Issue Brief No. 154


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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