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Axios reports that the US Census Bureau is saying that for the 12 months ended July 1, the US population grew just 0.1 percent, or by less than 400,000 people - the slowest rate of growth since the United States was founded.

According to the story, "The nation's growth was caused by a natural increase (the number of excess births over deaths) of 148,043 and a net international migration of 244,622. It's the first time that migration surpassed natural increase … The bureau said the 'slow rate of growth can be attributed to decreased net international migration, decreased fertility, and increased mortality due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic'."

Axios quotes Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau, as saying, "Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population … Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in an historically slow pace of growth."

KC's View:

There was some speculation at the beginning of the pandemic that all that time spent at home together because of lockdowns would lead couples of have more children, not fewer.  Apparently not.

The interesting thing is that, also contrary to early speculation and prognostication, the divorce rate has not spiked, either.

From the point of view of retailers, it seems to me, the population numbers have tio be of some concern, since businesses depend on having more people to which they can sell more stuff.  Relatively flat population growth means they have to do a better job of creating a compelling value proposition to the existing - and aging - customer base.

The other thing that businesses need to think about is hiring.  Flat population growth means a workforce that also is not growing.  More immigration than births means that employers are going to have to adjust their approaches so those people can find a home in their companies.