Texas and Washington, D.C., are rapidly filling up with people, according to the latest census release on population growth in the United States between April 2010 and July 2011. The two regions saw the biggest percentage change in population over that time period. North Dakota is also ballooning as the region benefits from a shale-oil boom and an unemployment rate sinking miraculously below 4 percent. By contrast, Maine and Michigan are actually shrinking. Here’s the map:
Curiously, the overall population of the United States expanded by a mere 2.8 million over that time period, the slowest rate of growth since the 1940s. That continues a long-term torpid trend: The 2000s were the slowest decade of population growth for the United States in 70 years, swelling just 9.7 percent, compared with 13.1 percent in the 1990s. Brookings demographer William Frey chalks this up to the fact that America’s getting older, and fewer people are in their childbearing years. Not only that, but immigration has been down of late.
Now, granted, the United States is still growing faster than pretty much every other developed country you care to name — since 2000, we’ve added about 80 percent as many people as live in all of Canada. But as The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson notes, this also underscores just how weak the job market is right now. Even with excessively sluggish population growth over the past 15 months, the job market still couldn’t keep up, adding just 1.7 million jobs during that time.