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Tags: population | growth | economy | coronavirus

US Growth at Lowest Since Spanish Flu, Will Hit Economy

wall street at the nyse
(ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 21 December 2020 07:37 AM EST

The United States is heading for the slowest population growth since the Spanish Flu pandemic and World War 1, and economists say that could hinder economic recovery moving forward. 

According to a Moody's Analytics report, the American population is expected to grow by about 700,000 people amid the coronavirus pandemic, or about 0.2% in 2020, reports USA Today.

Those numbers could cause smaller economic growth in the future, Michael Graetz, a former senior Treasury Department official and Columbia University law professor, told Salon. "Economic growth is driven by a combination of productivity and population, the number of workers," Graetz said. "So when you've got a smaller number of workers, you're going to have a smaller economic growth."

"Fewer people means fewer homes (purchased), fewer cars, fewer vacations," Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi told USA Today. He estimates that projections of a 3.5% decline in the U.S. economy are attributed to the dropping population. 

Zandi estimated that about a quarter-percentage point of this year's projected 3.5% decline in the U.S. economy was attributed to the drop in population growth.

In addition to claiming more than 310,000 lives, COVID-19 has also been linked to predictions in declined birth rates, possibly resulting in up to a half-million fewer births in 2021, according to a Brookings Institution report. Immigration is also slowing down, with the State Department reporting a decline of 84% in visa issuances. 

Even without the pandemic, the population has been declining for years in the United States. Last year, figures released by the Census Bureau showed that at that time, population growth was also reportedly the slowest in a century because of declining birth, increased deaths, and the slowing of immigration. 

Meanwhile, the population is aging, with the number of retirees going up by about 37% over the past 10 years. 

"Retirees and children are not producing wage income," said Graetz. "More of the workers' income will have to go to support expenditures on retirees unless those expenditures are dramatically cut."

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US
The United States is heading for the slowest population growth since the Spanish Flu pandemic and World War 1, and economists say that could hinder economic recovery moving forward...
population, growth, economy, coronavirus
334
2020-37-21
Monday, 21 December 2020 07:37 AM
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