The reasons for the slowest population growth since the birth of America

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – North Carolina demographer Michael Cline said he wasn’t entirely surprised to hear the United States’ population grew at a slower rate in 2021 than any other year since the founding of our nation.

“Probably not that low of a rate, but I was expecting it to be low, just because of the challenges we’ve had over the past couple of years with the pandemic,” Cline said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, lower population growth has been a trend in the U.S. for several years because of declining births and net international migration.

“People are delaying marriage and having children to older ages,” Cline elaborated.

Cline said these situations were only intensified by the pandemic.

Cline explained that while net migration declined this year from the previous year too, it actually boosted numbers.

“In fact, if it weren’t for net migration we actually would have seen population loss because over the last year and a half we actually had more deaths than births. So, we actually had what we call a natural decline,” Cline said.

He continued, “Migration has benefited us in that we had more people moving in than moving out, but still that was a little bit less than previous timeframes.”

The demographer added that North Carolina is in a good position compared to other states.

However, North Carolinians could still face challenges as the baby boomer population ages with fewer young people to fill their positions.

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