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US population growth is the lowest its been since 1918. Here's why that's terrible news for the economy.

US population growth is the lowest its been since 1918. Here's why that's terrible news for the economy.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images



The US population barely grew in 2019, amounting to a 0.48% trickle unseen in a century. It carries major economic implications for the nation's future.




Major factors of the past year's slowdown included fewer US births, a reduced number of immigrants, and Americans living longer, but it reflects trends that stretched back the last decade.




The slowdown in population growth is playing a key role in sober assessments of 2% US economic growth throughout the 2020s.




It could mean fewer, prime-age workers in the economy paying taxes and supporting a bevy of government programs.




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America's population grew only 0.48% in 2019, according to new Census figures released at the end of December. It's a trickle unseen since the end of World War I in 1918 — and the trend carries major economic implications for the nation's long-term future.
Three key elements in the population slowdown over the last year included fewer US births, a reduced number of new immigrants, and the overall graying of Americans. The birth rate and immigration have historically driven the nation's changing population dynamics.
The census data capped 10 years of sluggish US population growth. The 2010s may enter the record books as the slowest decade in population growth since the first Census in 1790, according to the Brookings Institution. And low fertility and an increase in deaths are projected to continue into the 2020s.
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