The Latest on the 2020 U.S. Census Data

Posted by Sam Lowder on May 24, 2021 12:00:00 PM

U.S. Census population data update

You might have heard recently that after many months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau completed its counts and released its initial batch of data (state data) on April 26, 2021. Many SiteSeer users and clients have been asking about this data, so here’s a look at some of the highlights that might interest you:

The U.S. population is growing, but not as fast as in previous decades.

  • The population of the United States is 331,449,281.
  • This is a 7.4% increase over the last decade (22.7 million, up from 308.7 million in 2010).
  • This increase is the second lowest ever (the lowest-ever rate of increase being over the 1930s, 7.3%).
  • It’s safe to assume that the sluggish growth between 2010 and 2020 has a lot to do with the Great Recession and its aftermath, which included lower fertility rates. This study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (released 2019) shares that the fertility rates for American women have continued to decline in the years since the recession ended and reached an all-time low of 1.7 children per woman in 2018.

People are moving around, and mostly to the South.

  • The South’s numeric increase of 11.7 million was the largest of any region and represented just over one-half (51.6 percent) of the national increase of 22.7 million.
  • The West’s increase of 6.6 million people was second-largest.
  • The Northeast increased 2.3 million. Unlike the other three regions, the Northeast’s numeric and percentage growth between 2010 and 2020 were higher than the prior decade.
  • The Midwest increased 2.1 million.
  • Texas had the largest numeric increase in population this decade, gaining 4.0 million people since 2010.
  • Idaho (up 17.3 percent), Texas (up 15.9 percent), North Dakota (up 15.8 percent), and Nevada (up 15.0 percent) rounded out the top five from 2010 to 2020 (percentage growth).
  • Florida, California, and Georgia all gained at least 1 million in population (increases of 2.7 million, 2.3 million, and 1.0 million, respectively).
  • Eight additional states (Washington, North Carolina, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Virginia, Tennessee, and Utah) gained at least 500,000 people.
  • West Virginia’s decline of 59,000 between 2010 and 2020 was the largest loss of any state.
  • Illinois (down 18,000) and Mississippi (down 6,000) also had population declines for the decade.
  • Puerto Rico’s population declined by 440,000 or 11.8 percent.
  • Utah was the fastest-growing state this decade with an 18.4 percent increase in population between 2010 and 2020. This was the slowest decade-to-decade rate of growth ever for a fastest-growing state.

There are changes in Congressional seats, which could shift political power.

At the conclusion of each Census, the results are used to calculate the number of in the U.S. House of Representatives seats to which each state is entitled (see the Bureau’s apportionment data). There are 435 seats in total. The results of the Census are delivered to the President, who redraws congressional districts. Here are the states that are will see reapportionment: 

  • Texas – 2 additional House seats
  • Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon – 1 additional House seat
  • California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia – 1 less House seat

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Census geographies and apportionment data is what is available now. The data released in February 2021 was the Census geographies, which are essentially boundaries that will be used for the forthcoming data. The April 2021 data release includes state results—specifically, state population counts that are used to apportion the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is required by law.
  • There’s more data coming in fall 2021. What will come next is the redistricting data by September 30, 2021. That includes counts of population by race, ethnicity, voting age, housing occupancy status, and group quarters population, all at the Census block level.
  • Synergos Technologies, Inc. (STI) is at the ready to update its population estimates. Now that the 2020 Census geography files are released, STI is at work getting them processed. Assuming the Census Bureau keeps its September 30th, 2021, release date, STI will have its 2010 and 2020 geography-based versions of STI: PopStats™ ready for the April 2022 and July 2022 releases. Their rationale behind two releases is to allow for an easy transition for PopStats data users. Then, the October 2022 release (July 2022 estimates) and all future releases will be created using 2020 geographies.
  • PopStats data in SiteSeer will be ready in spring 2022. As soon as STI updates its data, it will be updated in SiteSeer as well.

Questions about the Census data and how it will translate into SiteSeer data? Contact our team!

Contact the SiteSeer team

Topics: Retail Data Analysis, Data Study, Population Study, Demographic Data

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