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U.S Population Over Last Decade Grew at Slowest Rate Since 1930s, House Seats Shift

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The Census Bureau has recently reported that U.S population growth has slowed to the lowest rate since the Great Depression.

What We Know:

  • The Census Bureau reported the U.S population rose to 331,449,281 last year. This is a 7.4% increase over the previous decade that was the second slowest in history. Researchers say the decrease is the result of the combination of an aging population, slowing immigration, and the scars of the Great Recession more than a decade ago. They believe this caused many young adults to delay marriage and families.
  • The release of last year’s population count sparked the new allocation of congressional seats. Places such as Texas and Florida saw enough population growth to add more congressional seats. Colder climates such as New York and Ohio saw slow growth and lost seats in the House of Representatives. For the first time in 170 years, California is losing a congressional seat, the first time since its statehood. State population figures, known as the apportionment count, determine the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year.
  • The new data released on Monday will be used by state legislatures or independent commissions to redraw political maps to account for shifts in population. Texas is now the second-most populous state in the country and added two congressional seats. Florida and North Carolina each gained one seat in the House of Representatives. States losing seats include Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  • Texas, Florida, and Arizona all have a considerable Latino population which accounts for about half of their growth. Overall, the numbers from the data confirm that the country’s growth is stalling. Many demographers predicted this low level of growth considering the slow down of immigration which was halted during last year’s pandemic. Population booms bring new burdens such as increased traffic, rising home prices, and strains on infrastructure.

The original deadline for turning in the census number was December 31st, but it was pushed back to April due to pandemic challenges.

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