In 2021, the United States population increased at the slowest growth pace since the nation’s founding.
The Census Bureau’s Vintage 2021 Population Estimates show that the United States population expanded by a mere 0.1%. The agency summarized:
The year 2021 is the first time since 1937 that the U.S. population grew by fewer than one million people, featuring the lowest numeric growth since at least 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates. Apart from the last few years, when population growth slowed to historically low levels, the slowest rate of growth in the 20th century was from 1918-1919 amid the influenza pandemic and World War I.
Among other reasons, the agency cites “decreasing fertility” and “increasing mortality due to an aging population,” as well as the onset of COVID-19.
From 2020 to 2021, Idaho saw 2.9% growth — the highest percent increase in population in the country. Other fast-growing states included Utah (1.7%), Montana (1.7%), Arizona (1.4%), and South Carolina (1.2%). The slowest-growing states were New York (-1.6%), Illinois (-0.9%), Hawaii (-0.7%), and California (-0.7%) — as well as the District of Columbia, which witnessed a more severe population decline than any state (-2.9%).
Many have noted that the future of the United States is jeopardized by low population growth — which has already contributed to the economic stagnation of Japan and several European nations. For instance, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently said that “one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birthrate and the rapidly declining birthrate.”
“And yet, so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control,” Musk continued. “It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers — if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.”
Other data from the Census Bureau indicate concerning social trends. For instance, among the 130 million households in the United States, only 17.8% feature married parents with children — down from over 40% in 1970. The Daily Mail summarized earlier this month:
There are currently just 23.1 million American homes with those ‘nuclear families,’ which is the fewest since 1959. The reasons given for the drop include the pandemic delaying marriage and a continued decline in birth rate.
The average age of a woman at her first marriage is now 28.6 years. In the 1950s and 60s, women typically married at 20.4 years old. The average age for men to marry for the first time in 2021 was 30.4 years old. America’s fertility rate dropped to 55.4 births per 1,000 in the second quarter of 2021, down from 58.5 in the same period of 2019.
Americans are also living alone at a higher rate than they used to. The percentage of adults in the US living with a spouse was 50 percent, down from 52 percent 10 years ago. Over 37 million adults lived alone in early 2021, up from 33 million in 2011. As far back as 1960, 87 percent of adults lived with a spouse.
Analysts and commentators have pointed toward declining rates of religiosity, higher living expenses, the permutation of LGBTQ ideology, and even climate alarmism to explain America’s worsening demographic crisis.
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