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Immigration Fuels Uptick in U.S. Population Growth

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Immigration Fuels Uptick in U.S. Population Growth

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The number of immigrants to the U.S. jumped to the highest level in two decades this year, driving the nation’s overall population growth, according to estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The United States added 1.6 million people, more than two-thirds of which came from international migration, bringing the nation’s population total to 334.9 million. It marks the second year in a row that immigration powered population gains.

A decline in the number of deaths since the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the U.S. growth rate.

Population gains stem from immigration and births outpacing deaths.

After immigration declined in the latter half of last decade and dropped even lower amid pandemic-era restrictions, the number of immigrants last year bounced back to almost 1 million people. The trend continued this year as the nation added 1.1 million people.

The last time immigration surpassed 1.1 million people was in 2001, according to Census Bureau figures compiled by William Frey, a demographer at The Brookings Institution.

It is a sign of things to come. Without immigration, the U.S. population is projected to decline as deaths are forecast to outpace births by the late 2030s.

“The immigration piece is going to be the main source of growth in the future,” Mr. Frey said.

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