U.S. Population Growth Slows to Just 0.71%

Greg Toppo and Paul Overberg, USA Today, December 31, 2013

An aging Baby Boomer population and slower immigration combined for nearly stagnant U.S. population growth in 2013 as the total number of residents increased at the slowest pace since the Great Depression.

Figures released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that growth for the 12 months ending July 1 was 0.71%, or just under 2.3 million people. That’s the slowest since 1937, according to Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, who called this year’s growth “underwhelming.”

In 2011-2012, the U.S. population grew at a slightly higher 0.75% rate.

As another calendar year begins, the Census Bureau projects the nation’s population on New Year’s Day will beĀ 317,297,938, an increase of 2,218,622, or 0.7%, from New Year’s Day 2013.

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Kenneth Johnson, a University of New Hampshire demographer, noted that Florida’s population gain of 232,000 people is about even with that of the past two years but “still smaller than that during the 2000s, when Florida gained an average of 282,000 annually.” Migration is key to maintaining Florida’s population growth, he said, because the difference each year between births and deaths there is small.

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