Louisiana was among 10 states to lose population over the past year and one of four to lose more than 10,000 residents, according to recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, contributing to what analysts say has been a decade with perhaps the slowest U.S. population growth.
Overall, Louisiana saw the fourth-largest population loss in the country from 2018 to 2019, losing 10,896 residents—a 0.2% decrease. The only states to lose more residents throughout the year were New York (-76,790), Illinois (-51,250) and West Virginia (-12,144).
What’s delivered a crushing blow to Louisiana—along with 26 other states and Washington, D.C.—is net domestic migration, or the difference between domestic in-migration to an area and domestic out-migration from the same area during a specified time period.
Six of those states reported losses of over 25,000, with three experiencing losses greater than 100,000. Louisiana’s net domestic migration loss (-26,045) was the sixth-highest in the country, after California (-203,414), New York (-180,649), Illinois (-104,986), New Jersey (-48,946) and Massachusetts (-30,274).
Louisiana’s losses happened as population grew in 40 other states and Washington, D.C. Moreover, the South saw the largest numeric growth (1,011,015) and percentage growth (0.8%) in the U.S., driven mainly by natural increase (the number of births minus deaths—359,114) and net domestic migration (407,913) into those areas.
Texas saw the largest spike (367,215) and Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee also were in the top 10. Meanwhile, the West dominated percentage population growth, led by Idaho (2.1%) and followed by Nevada, Arizona and Utah.
Still, the 2010s may have seen the slowest population growth in U.S. history (7.1%), according to the Brookings Institute, with 2018-2019 marking the lowest annual rate of population growth (0.48%) since 1917-1918. Louisiana’s statewide population grew by about 2.4% over the decade.
It’s largely because of low fertility rates and an increase in deaths amid an aging baby boomer population, the organization reports. Natural increase has declined steadily over the past 10 years, dropping below 1 million in 2019 for the first time in decades. Louisiana’s under-18 population dropped by 30,385 between 2010 and 2019.