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Census estimates show Mississippi among 11 states to gain population in 2023 after declines in 2022

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

The Census data shows that the South is expanding its population largely from outmigration from other states.

According to population estimates released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday, the Southern U.S. is booming – and Mississippi is joining in the gains.

The Census Bureau says some 1.6 million people have been added to the nation’s population over the past year, pushing the total U.S. population to near 335 million people.

“U.S. migration returning to pre-pandemic levels and a drop in deaths are driving the nation’s growth,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau, in a statement announcing the data. “Although births declined, this was tempered by the near 9% decrease in deaths. Ultimately, fewer deaths paired with rebounding immigration resulted in the nation experiencing its largest population gain since 2018.”

The Census Bureau reports that the expansion of the South — the nation’s most populous region — accounted for 87% of the nation’s growth in 2023, adding over 1.4 million residents for a total population of 130,125,290. The report noted that the South is the only region to have maintained population growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2023, the Census Bureau report states that more states gained population than has been seen since the start of the pandemic.

“At the state level, 42 states and the District of Columbia had an increase in population, up from 31 states and the District of Columbia in 2022 and 34 states in 2021,” the report notes. “The increasing number of states with population growth reflects both the broad national trends of deaths and net international migration returning to pre-COVID levels as well as reduced net domestic outmigration for some of the states.”

Eleven states that lost population in 2022 are now seeing gains – including Mississippi. The Census data estimates show the Magnolia State has gained some 762 people since last year.

The other 10 states now seeing gains are New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Kansas, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Alaska.

Eight states saw their population fall in 2023, according to Census estimates. Those states are California, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

You can read the Census report here.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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