Census data: Louisiana’s population in decline

By Victor Skinner | The Center Square

Louisiana is among states with the biggest population declines in recent years, according to new U.S. Census data.

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows Louisiana ranked fifth among states for numeric decline in the population between July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022, losing 36,857 residents in that time. Between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2022, 67,508 residents left the Pelican State, according to the data.

States that lost more residents include New York with a 180,341 decline, California with a 113,649 loss, Illinois’ 104,437 drop, and Pennsylvania with 40,051 fewer residents.

In terms of percentage loss, Louisiana tied Illinois with a 0.8% decline from 2021 to 2022, behind only New York with a 0.9% loss.

Despite the population loss, Louisiana has remained the 25th most populous state in the U.S. from 2020 through 2022.

A breakdown of the Census data shows Louisiana is losing residents mostly through domestic migration, while making small gains from natural change and international migration.

Louisiana births outnumbered deaths by 1,157 between 2021 and 2022, as international net migration totaled 8,106. But the state lost 46,672 to domestic migration to other states during the same time frame, resulting in an overall net migration loss of 38,566, according to the data.

Since 2020, Louisiana has recorded 414 more births than deaths, and a total net migration loss of 68,797, a statistic driven by 80,278 people who left for other states.

Louisiana’s population loss stands in contrast to other southern states listed among the fastest growing in the U.S., including Texas with the fastest numeric growth of 470,708, North Carolina with the 3rd fastest growth at 133,088, Georgia’s 4th fastest growth at 124,847, and South Carolina with the sixth fastest growth of 89,368.

Regionally, the South remained the most populous region at 128,716,192 residents, a figure that increased by 1.1% or more than 1.3 million people between July 2021 and July 2022.

That growth was nearly three times the increase in the U.S. population overall, which jumped by 0.4%, or 1.2 million, to 333,287,557 in 2022, according to Census data.

“There was a sizable uptick in population growth last year compared to the prior year’s historically low increase,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau. “A rebound in net international migration, coupled with the largest year-over-year increase in total births since 2017, is behind this increase.”

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