Census data shows Louisiana had fifth highest population loss over year

Staff Report
Louisiana's population decline was the fifth highest in the nation, according to estimates released Dec. 21 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The total population in Louisiana decreased by 27,156 people from July 2020 to July 2021, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The change represented a statewide 0.6 percent decline, according to the estimated data. The District of Columbia, New York, Illinois, Hawaii, and California all had higher percentage decreases.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia lost population between 2020 and 2021.

The top five in numeric decline were New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Louisiana.

States with this highest numeric growth were Texas, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Growth leaders by percentage were Idaho, Utah, Montana, Arizona, and South Carolina.

The five most populated states are California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Idaho led the nation in percentage growth.

The overall population of the United States grew in the year by 392,665, or 0.1 percent, which represented the lowest rate since the nation’s founding.

Reasons cited by the Census Bureau included decreased net international migration, decreased fertility, and increased mortality due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau, stated in the news release. “Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow pace of growth.”

As of April 1, 2020, Louisiana had an estimated population of 4,657,757. The figure dipped to 4,651,203 by July 1, 2020, and fell further to 4,624,047 by July 1, 2021.

The data snapshot captures the early days of the pandemic as well as storms that affected Louisiana for months.