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Georgia growth outstrips most states in slow-growing nation
state capitol
Georgia state capitol. - photo by For the Dawson County News

by Dave Williams | Capitol Beat News Service

While only four states have grown more than Georgia since the release of the 2020 U.S. Census, the Peach State’s population increase came as the nation’s population grew at the slowest rate since its founding.

Georgia gained 73,766 residents between July 2020 and July of this year to just less than 10.8 million, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Only four states saw larger population increases: Texas, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.

Nationally, the population rose only 0.1% during that period to nearly 331.9 million.

Census Bureau officials attribute the slow rate of growth to decreased net international migration, lower fertility and higher mortality due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau. “Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in an historically slow pace of growth.”

Georgia remains the nation’s eighth most populous state, just behind Ohio’s 11.8 million residents. California’s population of 39.2 million makes it by far the most populous, well ahead of the 29.5 million Texans. Florida is third with 21.8 million residents.

Texas, however, was the fastest growing state as of last July, adding 310,288 residents since July of last year.

New York saw the largest numeric decline in population, losing 319,020 residents. The Empire State also was the top state in rate of decline, losing 1.6% of its total population in just one year.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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