The U.S. was already facing a very slow rate of population growth, due to smaller families among non-Hispanic whites and to our crackdown on immigration, before COVID-19 scrambled everything.

Now there’s a possibility that deaths may exceed births in the country as a whole this year, which “has never happened in the history of this country,” says Kenneth Johnson. He’s a demographer at the University of New Hampshire who has been featured many times on this blog.

Today he’s featured in a NY Times story based on his latest analysis of births and deaths in all U.S. counties:

The U.S. population grew by just 0.48 percent last year—the lowest population growth rate since 1919. With more deaths and fewer births, more people died than were born last year in 1,430 of the 3,142 U.S. counties (46 percent). 

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