In a recent article in The Atlantic, affiliate Tom Vogl discusses the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. population and population growth.
“Three variables determine the fluctuations of a country’s population: births, deaths, and migration flows. The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting all three.
The forces that have begun acting on America’s population are dramatic departures from the norm. Every year for the past 100 years, the population of the United States has grown. During that time, though, its growth rate has slowed as birth rates have fallen. Demographers expect this deceleration to continue through the 21st century: A recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet projected that the U.S. population will peak in 2062, and then start to shrink.
The pandemic very likely won’t alter that long-term population trajectory, but the varied and devastating effects it has had—and will continue having—will in all likelihood slow the population’s growth rate even more, pushing it to its lowest level in the past 100 years. (The last time the U.S. population shrank was 1918, which also happened to be a pandemic year.) Here, I’ll examine how the pandemic might shape those three key variables that determine population growth.”
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