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The growth of the U.S. population slowed to a crawl last year, and many think the economy was to blame.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population increased from 316,128,839 to 317,297,938 in the past year, which represents a 0.7 percent change from New Year’s Day 2013.
This is “the lowest rate in more than seven decades,” Wiliam Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., told The New York Times.
The slow growth rate may be a direct result of the “aging baby boomer population and slower immigration,” reports USA Today.
Others think the slow population growth — the lowest rate since the Great Depression — “is a reflection of the recession’s lingering effects on people’s behavior,” says The Washington Post. During the recession, people put off having children, and the number of immigrants who came to the U.S. in search of work declined. The Post added:
“Economists think the recession is over, but it’s not, for demographic trends,” said Ken Johnson, a demographer with the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. “We should see growth going up.”
Here are a few other interesting facts from the U.S. and World Population Clock:
- One birth will occur every 8 seconds in the U.S.
- One person will die every 12 seconds in the U.S.
- The U.S. will have a net gain of one person every 17 seconds.
- California was the most populous state in 2013 with 38,332,521 residents.
- The world population reached 7 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach 8 billion in 2025.
Demographers believe that the nation’s growth rate will rise as people’s faith in the economy is restored, the Post says.
What are your thoughts on the projected population growth? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.