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Covid pandemic fueled 2021 population decline in 73% of US counties

The toll of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a natural decline last year in the population of nearly three-quarters of U.S. counties compared to the previous two years, the census bureau said Thursday.

More than 73% of U.S. counties experienced a natural decline, or excess of deaths over births, compared to 55.5% in 2020 and 45.5% in 2019, according to bureau data.

“In 2021, fewer births, an aging population and increased mortality – intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic – contributed to an increase in natural decline,” the US Census Bureau said in a statement.

The largest loss, of 159,621, occurred in Los Angeles County in California, according to data released by the bureau as part of its Vintage 2021 population and components of change estimates.

All counties in Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island experienced natural declines in 2021, he added, while migration also caused population declines for some.

The fall continues a trend in which more than half of all U.S. counties lost population in the decade from 2010, with nearly all of the growth taking place in metropolitan areas, state officials said. census last August.

Between 2020 and 2021, the population grew in approximately 65% ​​of metropolitan areas in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.

The US population grew at a slower rate in 2021 than any other year on record, as the Covid-19 pandemic compounded the more subdued growth of recent years, the office said.