The U.S. population grew by just 0.35% between July 2019 and July 2020, the smallest annual growth rate in well over a century. Driven in part by restrictions on immigration and a declining birth rate, slow population growth may have profound and far reaching consequences — including reduced economic growth, stagnanting home values, and fewer workers to support an aging population.
This trend is by no means unique to last year. And while the national population growth has been slow but positive, over the past decade, cities and towns across the country have reported rapid population decline.
Using population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the fastest shrinking place in every state. Among the cities, towns, villages, and unincorporated communities on this list, populations have contracted anywhere from 2.5% to over 40% since 2010, depending on the state.
While declining immigration and falling birth rates largely explain the national slowdown in population growth, in many of the places on this list these factors are compounded by residents moving out. An estimated 40 million Americans move each year, and one of the most common reasons is for improved economic opportunity. In the vast majority of the places on this list, incomes are lower than they are across the state as a whole. Most of these areas also have higher than average unemployment. This is the richest town in every state.
Several of the places that rank on this list are military bases. These areas are subject to different factors than non-military cities and towns. Still, when servicemen and servicewomen are transferred away from these places, it has an impact on the local economy. Here is a look at America’s military cities.