NATIONAL NEWS

International migration drove US population growth in 2022

Dec 22, 2022, 10:39 AM

Commuters arrive into the Oculus station and mall in Manhattan on November 17, 2022 in New York Cit...

Commuters arrive into the Oculus station and mall in Manhattan on November 17, 2022 in New York City. According to a report by the United Nations population division, the world's population reached 8 billion people as of last Tuesday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The U.S. population expanded by 1.2 million people this year, with growth largely driven by international migration, and the nation now has 333.2 million residents, according to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Net international migration — the number of people moving into the U.S. minus the number of people leaving — was more than 1 million residents from 2021 to 2022. That represented a growth rate of 168% over the previous year’s 376,029 international migrants, with every state gaining residents from abroad, according to the vintage 2022 population estimates.

Natural growth — the number of births minus the number of deaths — added another 245,080 people to the total in what was the first year-over-year increase in total births since 2007.

This year’s U.S. annual growth rate of 0.4% was a rebound of sorts from the 0.1% growth rate during the worst of the pandemic from 2020 to 2021, which was the lowest since the nation’s founding.

Regionally, the Northeast lost almost 219,000 people in a trend largely driven by domestic residents moving out of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, as well as deaths outpacing births in Pennsylvania. The Midwest also lost almost 49,000 residents, driven in part by people moving out of Illinois and deaths outpacing births in Ohio.

The South gained 1.3 million residents, the largest of any region, driven by population gains in Texas and Florida that approached a half-million residents each. Texas, the second most populous state in the U.S., surpassed the 30 million-resident mark, joining California as the only other state in this category.

But California lost more than 113,000 residents, and had a population just over 39 million in 2022, in what was the biggest annual decline behind New York’s more than 180,000-resident loss. The population decline was driven by more than 343,000 domestic residents moving out of California, and it helped drag down the West region’s population gain to only 153,000 residents.

Without international migration and a sizeable natural increase of births outpacing deaths, the West region would have lost population due to domestic residents also moving out of Oregon and Washington.

Puerto Rico lost 40,000 residents, or 1.3% of its population, due to people moving away and deaths outpacing births, and its population now stands at 3.2 million residents.

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International migration drove US population growth in 2022