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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Lawler: US Population Growth Slowed Again in 2019

by Calculated Risk on 12/31/2019 04:29:00 PM

CR Note: These lower population estimates are important for projections of economic growth and housing. I mentioned this slowdown in growth earlier this month in Is the Future still Bright?

From housing economist Tom Lawler: US Population Growth Slowed Again in 2019

Yesterday the Census Bureau released its “Vintage 2019” estimates of the US resident population, which showed that population growth in 2019 was the slowest (in numbers) since 1942 and the slowest in percentage growth since 1918. According to these estimates, the US resident population on July 1, 2019 was 328,239,523, just 1,552,022 (or 0.475%) higher than the downwardly-revised population estimate for July 1, 2018. 2009 was the third consecutive year that US population growth slowed significantly, reflecting lower births, higher deaths, and lower net international migration.

BirthsDeathsNet International
2010-2016 (Yr. Avg.)3,961,5442,601,247909,6442,269,941

The latest population estimate for July 1, 2018 was 479,933 lower than the “Vintage 2018” estimate for that year, with the downward revision reflecting somewhat lower births, somewhat higher deaths, and significant lower net international migration. Population estimates for previous years of this decade were also revised downward modestly, mainly reflecting lower estimates for net international migration.

While updated estimates of the population by age won’t be available for several months, these latest estimates, if accurate, suggest that both total population growth and the growth in the working-age population were significantly slower over the past two years than previously thought.

For folks who use Census population projections to forecast other key variables, it is worth noting that the latest population estimate for 2019 is a sizable 1,965,493 lower than the estimate from the “Census 2017” projections, which are the latest available.

Updated population projections, originally slated for release in late October, are now scheduled to be released sometime in January. These estimates, however, will use the “Vintage 2018” estimates as a starting point, and as such are out of date before they are even released. Below is the latest from Census on the upcoming population projections release.
"The U.S. Census Bureau will be releasing several new and updated population projection reports that cover projected life expectancy by nativity, projected population by alternative migration scenarios and updated population projections by demographic characteristics. Supplemental data files for the alternative migration scenarios and input data sets for the main projections series are also being released."