The US added some 27 million residents in the past decade. But that population growth is small, percentage-wise – 9.7 percent. Only during the Great Depression decade was the growth rate lower.
The United States population has crashed through the 300 million mark, according to just-released 2010 census data. The total number of people living in the US as of April 1 this year was 308,745,538. That means the country has added about 27 million residents over the past 10 years.
That sounds like a lot of people, and it is. Only two other decades in US history have seen a larger number of people added to the census rolls. But since the US population is already quite large, even a big number of new additions can result in relatively slow growth, percentage-wise. And that’s just what the new census numbers reveal.
It’s one of the 2010 census’ most intriguing results: The US population has grown at only a 9.7 percent pace since 2000. In the context of US history, that’s quite slow. Only one other decade has seen slower growth, in fact. That was 1930 to 1940, when total population gain was 7.3 percent, according to Census Bureau records.
Why was growth so slow this time around? Well, one main cause was probably the powerful recession of the past several years. Hard times cause some couples to put off having children. They also convince more immigrants to return to or stay in their native lands instead of traveling to the US for work.