- The US Census Bureau recently released its annual estimates of population change in America’s counties.
- The estimates included figures on natural population change, or the net difference between births and deaths in each county.
- A little over half the counties had a net natural increase, or more births than deaths.
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More people are dying than being born in nearly half of US counties.
The Census Bureau recently released its annual estimates of population change in each of the 3,142 counties and county-equivalents in the US. In addition to the total change in population in each county between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, the Bureau also released estimates for the components of that population change.
The above map shows the net natural population change in each county, or the difference in the number of births and deaths in the county, adjusted by the total population of the county in 2017. That represents the component of population change that isn’t directly affected by people moving into and out of each county.
In the map, counties with a natural population increase – more births than deaths – are in blue, while counties with a natural decrease – more deaths than births – are in red.
A little more than half of the counties – 1,757 of the 3,142 total – had more births than deaths between 2017 and 2018. The map shows that large swaths of the interior West had robust natural population growth, while parts of the far Northeast, Appalachia, Florida, and the upper Midwest saw many more deaths than births.
Here are the 10 counties with populations of at least 10,000 with the biggest natural increases per 1,000 residents in 2017:
And here are the 10 counties with the biggest natural decreases per 1,000 residents among counties with populations of at least 10,000. Three of the top 10 counties are in Florida, and another three are in Virginia:
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