Population Growth Is Slowing. Why That’s a Problem for the U.S. Economy

Alarming Demographic Trends

Economics Group

Wells Fargo Securities


Dec. 29: The U.S. population increased 0.4% in 2020, to 329 million, marking the lowest growth rate since at least 1900. With a falling birth rate and an aging population, overall growth has slowed over the past five years. In fact, 2020’s projection will likely close out the slowest decade of population growth in the nation’s history. Stalling population growth could have major implications for potential economic output in the longer term. While these estimates precede and are collected independently from the 2020 decennial census, they provide useful insight into national and regional population trends.

Sixteen states saw growth pick up over the year, and 34 states are growing. Residents continued to flock to the West (+0.5%) and the South (+0.8%), which saw the largest gain of the Census regions. The South added just over 976,000 residents in 2020, with Texas (+1.3%), South Carolina (+1.2%), and Florida (+1.1%) posting the fastest increases and each ranking among the top 10 fastest-growing states. In the West, Idaho (+2.1%), Arizona (1.8%), Nevada (+1.5%), and Utah (1.5%) contributed nearly three-quarters of the region’s 354,000 population gain and saw the healthiest growth rates in the country. An affordability migration away from high-cost urban centers is helping fuel population growth in these regions.

—Mark Vitner, Charles Dougherty, Nicole Cervi


Chart of the Day

Icarus TV

Junheng Li, JL Warren Capital head of research, joins ‘Squawk Alley’ to discuss whether tech companies in China anticipate issues with government regulators amid heightened scrutiny of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply