Wednesday, January 13, 2021

"Unprecedented Demographic Stagnation"

You don't have to wait for 2020 census results to know the big trends of the past decade. That's because demographer William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution has revealed the biggies in a recent report. According to Frey, this is what the 2020 census will show...

1. "Unprecedented stagnation in population growth," says Frey. The 2010s are likely to have been the decade with the slowest population growth in U.S. history. Until the 2010s, the U.S. was one of the fastest growing countries in the industrialized world.

2. Ongoing decline in geographic mobility. The annual mobility rate has been falling through most of the 2010s, reaching an all-time low of 9.3 percent in 2019–20. While the coronavirus pandemic may boost mobility temporarily, Frey thinks it will then resume its long-term decline.

3. The continued aging of the population, thanks to the Baby-Boom generation. 

4. "A first-time decline in the nation's white population," Frey predicts for the 2010s, largely due to the fact that whites are older than other race groups. "This means that other racial and ethnic groups are responsible for generating overall population growth," says Frey.

5. Great diversity in the Millennial and younger generations compared to Boomers and older Americans. "The generational divide in diversity...has impacted politics in ways that are sometimes divisive," Frey notes.

The biggest trend to be revealed by the 2020 census, according to Frey, is this: the nation is in the midst of unprecedented demographic stagnation. One way to break out of the stagnation is to increase immigration, he says. "Given our rapidly aging native-born population, immigration will ensure growth—especially among the critical youth and labor force populations."

Source: Brookings, What the 2020 Census Will Reveal about America; Stagnating Growth, an Aging Population, and Youthful Diversity

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