A number of the top ten states with the highest population growth from 2020 to 2021 were neighboring Wyoming, but Cowboy State lags far behind.
Half of the top ten states, including the top four states, with the highest annual population growth percentage were in the West: Idaho led the country with 2.9%, followed by Utah , Montana and Arizona, while Nevada was ninth. Wyoming’s annual growth was ranked 22nd highest in the country.
Wyoming’s total resident population grew “slightly” by 1,536 people to a total of 578,803 in July 2021, according to estimates released last week by the US Census Bureau.
The growth can mainly be attributed to a net migration of around 1,300 people. This positive net migration means that 1,368 more residents moved to Wyoming than they left the state between 2020 and 2021. The rest of the growth comes from the difference between births and deaths. Wyoming saw a “natural increase” of about 170, which means there were 170 more births than deaths.
“The natural increase in Wyoming’s population has slowed dramatically over the past two years,” Amy Bittner, senior economist with the Wyoming State Economic Analysis Division, said in a press release. “COVID-19 may have caused more people to move to Wyoming than to leave the state. “
COVID-19 is also largely responsible for changes in employment rates, which affect demographic shifts.
From July 2020 to July 2021, the state’s employment rate increased 3.1%, after July 2020 was “one of the months most economically affected by COVID-19.”
Total employment in July 2020 was among the lowest since 2005.
The employment rebound from July 2020 to July 2021 “shows Wyoming is slowly recovering from some of the economic impacts of the pandemic,” said a press release from the Economic Analysis Division.
“Job opportunities lead to migration to an area, which is generally true for Wyoming,” Bittner said.
In the United States as a whole, the population has grown at the slowest rate in the country’s history over the past year: 0.1% or 392,665 people.
Last year was the first time since 1937 that America’s population had grown by less than a million people. It is also the weakest digital growth since 1900.
Slow population growth nationwide is due to declining international migration, falling birth rates and increasing mortality from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the press release . Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have lost population in the past year.
“Wyoming is experiencing some of the same problems as the United States with regard to natural population growth, declining birth rates and increasing aging populations,” Bittner said in the statement. “Since the natural increase in Wyoming’s population (births minus deaths) has been stable over the year, the majority of the state’s population increase has come from people settling in. State (positive net migration). “
Data from a decade tells a similar story.
Cowboy State’s slow growth relative to its neighbors is not just a product of the pandemic – Wyoming’s population has also grown the slowest of any western state over the past decade.
Wyoming has experienced the seventh slowest population growth in the United States of about 13,000 since 2010 for a growth rate of 2.3%.
Over the decade, the population of the United States increased by 7.1%. The Western region, which includes Wyoming, is believed to have increased 9.2%.
According to Wyoming Chief Economist Wenlin Liu, the past 10 years have seen the state’s slowest growth rate since the 1980s, the Star-Tribune previously reported. In the 2010 census, Wyoming’s population had increased by about 14.1% since 2000.
Liu attributed Wyoming’s low growth rate to the economic downturn in the energy sector since the mid-2010s. In 2015 and 2016, according to state data, 9,200 mining jobs were lost. .
“The economy nationwide, especially in neighboring states such as Colorado, Utah and Idaho, has experienced strong expansion, which has attracted many workers and residents of Wyoming over the second half of the decade, “Liu said in an April press release.
About 11,800 more people have left Wyoming than they have moved into the state since 2010. According to state data, there have been approximately 72,000 births compared to 47,000 deaths in Wyoming since last. census.
Utah experienced the biggest boom in the country, growing 18.4% since 2010. Idaho and North Dakota had the second and fourth fastest growing populations, increasing 17.3% and 15.8%. Only three states have seen their populations decline over the decade
More precise census data will continue to be released in the coming months.