Southeast vs. United States
Comparative Trends Analysis:
Population Growth and Change, 1958-2021
Introduction
Southeast vs. United States
Southeast:
2021 Population = 85,872,186
2021 Percent of U.S. = 25.9%
U.S.:
2021 Population = 331,893,745
Attracting and retaining people to live, work, raise a family, and retire underlies the economic vitality of any region. Population growth is both a cause--and a consequence--of economic growth. Patterns of population growth and change reflect differences among regions to attract and retain people both as producers and consumers in their economy.
The following graphs offer a broad overview of trends in the pattern of population growth and change of the Southeast with comparisons to the nation at large. The data used are those compiled by the Regional Income and Product Divisions of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Population, 1958-2021
Population, 1958-2021
Figure 1.
Figure 1 traces the Southeast's annual population for the period 1958-2021 to illustrate population patterns over time. During this 64-year period, the Southeast's population rose from 37,435,000 in 1958 to 85,872,186 in 2021, for a net gain of 48,437,186, or 129.4%.
NOTE: The state population totals reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) are from the Bureau of Census midyear (July 1) estimates. These estimates may differ from those prepared independently in some states by various agencies and/or universities.
Population Indices (1958=100): 1958-2021
Population Indices (1958=100): 1958-2021
Figure 2.
Figure 2 shows the Southeast's population growth in a broader context by offering direct comparisons across time with the United States. The growth indices shown here express each region's population in 1958 as a base figure of 100, and the populations in later years as a percentage of the 1958 base figure. This method allows for more direct comparison of differences in population growth between regions that may differ vastly in size.
The Southeast's overall population growth was 129.4% over 1958-2021 outpaced the United States' increase of 90.6%.
Population as a Percent of the United States Total: 1958-2021
Population as a Percent of the United States Total: 1958-2021
Figure 3.
Another interesting and insightful way of highlighting the population growth of the Southeast is to compare its individual percentage contributions to the United States' total population over time, as shown in Figure 3. A rising share means a region's population grew faster, or declined less, than the United States' population, while a declining share shows it grew more slowly.
In 1958, the Southeast's population comprised 21.5% of the United States' population, while in 2021 it totaled 25.9% thereby yielding a +4.4% share-shift.
   
 
Population Share-Shift
2021 vs. 1958
 
Share-
Shift*
 
2021
vs.
1958
+4.38%
=
25.87%
-
21.50%
 
   
Southeast Population:
Annual Percent Change, 1959-2021
Southeast Population:
Annual Percent Change, 1959-2021
Figure 4.
Figure 4 displays the short-run pattern of the Southeast's population growth by tracking the year-to-year percent change over 1959-2021. The average annual percent change for the entire 63-year period is also traced on this chart to provide a benchmark for gauging periods of relative high--and relative low--growth against the backdrop of the long-term average.
On average, the Southeast's population grew at an annual rate of 1.33% over 1959-2021. The Southeast recorded its highest growth in 1971 (2.36%) and recorded its lowest growth in 2021 (0.58%). In 2021, the Southeast's population grew by 0.58%
Southeast Population:
Annual Percent Change and Decade Averages Over 1959-2021
Southeast Population:
Annual Percent Change and Decade Averages Over 1959-2021
Figure 5.
Over the past six decades some BEA regions have experienced extreme swings in growth, and often such swings have tended to coincide with the decades themselves. Figure 5 again shows the annual percent change in the Southeast's population since 1959, but this time they are overlayed with average growth rates for the decade of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020-2021.
During the 1960s, the Southeast's annual population growth rate averaged 1.32%. It averaged 1.81% in the 1970s, 1.23% throughout the 1980s, 1.56% throughout the 1990s, 1.27% during the 2000s, 0.87% throughout the 2010s, 0.60% thus far this decade (2020-2021).
Population Growth:
Average Annual Percent Change by Decade
Population Growth:
Average Annual Percent Change by Decade
Figure 6.
Figure 6 compares the decade average growth rates for the Southeast noted in the previous graph with the corresponding decade averages for the nation.
Relative to nationwide population growth trends, the Southeast led the nation throughout the 1960s (1.32% vs. 1.29%), outgained the nation throughout the 1970s (1.81% vs. 1.10%), surpassed the nation in the 1980s (1.23% vs. 0.95%), topped the nation in the 1990s (1.56% vs. 1.23%), outperformed the nation during the 2000s (1.27% vs. 0.95%), recorded above the nation over the 2010s (0.87% vs. 0.74%), and led the nation over 2020-2021 (0.60% vs. 0.25%).
   
 
Population Growth:
Average Annual Percent Change
 
 
 
1.33
1.32
1.81
1.23
1.56
1.27
0.87
0.60
0.58
 
1.03
1.29
1.10
0.95
1.23
0.95
0.74
0.25
0.12
 
   

Interactive TableTip: To augment your analysis click on the column headers in the following table to rank and/or sort the data.

   
 
Southeast:
Population, 1958-2021
 
1958
 
37,435,000
100.0
N
21.50
1959
 
38,115,000
101.8
1.82
21.52
1960
 
38,885,000
103.9
2.02
21.61
1961
 
39,544,000
105.6
1.69
21.61
1962
 
40,179,000
107.3
1.61
21.63
1963
 
40,742,000
108.8
1.40
21.62
1964
 
41,349,000
110.5
1.49
21.64
1965
 
41,857,000
111.8
1.23
21.64
1966
 
42,257,000
112.9
0.96
21.61
1967
 
42,611,000
113.8
0.84
21.59
1968
 
43,042,000
115.0
1.01
21.60
1969
 
43,440,000
116.0
0.92
21.58
1970
 
43,973,515
117.5
1.23
21.58
1971
 
45,013,167
120.2
2.36
21.76
1972
 
46,019,010
122.9
2.23
21.99
1973
 
46,991,755
125.5
2.11
22.23
1974
 
47,954,591
128.1
2.05
22.48
1975
 
48,787,678
130.3
1.74
22.64
1976
 
49,513,969
132.3
1.49
22.76
1977
 
50,311,832
134.4
1.61
22.89
1978
 
51,113,001
136.5
1.59
23.01
1979
 
51,976,687
138.8
1.69
23.15
1980
 
52,881,196
141.3
1.74
23.27
1981
 
53,627,371
143.3
1.41
23.37
1982
 
54,248,696
144.9
1.16
23.42
1983
 
54,856,066
146.5
1.12
23.46
1984
 
55,514,620
148.3
1.20
23.54
1985
 
56,198,797
150.1
1.23
23.62
1986
 
56,861,115
151.9
1.18
23.68
1987
 
57,536,401
153.7
1.19
23.75
1988
 
58,120,493
155.3
1.02
23.77
1989
 
58,733,381
156.9
1.05
23.80
1990
 
59,516,122
159.0
1.33
23.84
1991
 
60,500,666
161.6
1.65
23.92
1992
 
61,508,138
164.3
1.67
23.98
1993
 
62,530,549
167.0
1.66
24.06
1994
 
63,574,211
169.8
1.67
24.16
1995
 
64,601,937
172.6
1.62
24.26
1996
 
65,611,342
175.3
1.56
24.36
1997
 
66,655,300
178.1
1.59
24.45
1998
 
67,626,581
180.7
1.46
24.52
1999
 
68,569,381
183.2
1.39
24.57
2000
 
69,497,232
185.6
1.35
24.63
2001
 
70,317,959
187.8
1.18
24.68
2002
 
71,151,666
190.1
1.19
24.74
2003
 
71,961,591
192.2
1.14
24.81
2004
 
73,019,229
195.1
1.47
24.94
2005
 
74,148,386
198.1
1.55
25.09
2006
 
75,065,947
200.5
1.24
25.16
2007
 
76,122,849
203.3
1.41
25.27
2008
 
77,057,840
205.8
1.23
25.34
2009
 
77,814,936
207.9
0.98
25.37
2010
 
78,570,325
209.9
0.97
25.40
2011
 
79,199,406
211.6
0.80
25.40
2012
 
79,888,872
213.4
0.87
25.41
2013
 
80,515,501
215.1
0.78
25.42
2014
 
81,203,968
216.9
0.86
25.43
2015
 
81,982,533
219.0
0.96
25.47
2016
 
82,834,748
221.3
1.04
25.54
2017
 
83,586,827
223.3
0.91
25.59
2018
 
84,232,711
225.0
0.77
25.64
2019
 
84,845,052
226.6
0.73
25.69
2020
 
85,374,665
228.1
0.62
25.75
2021
 
85,872,186
229.4
0.58
25.87
Source: Calculations by the United States Regional Economic Analysis Project (US-REAP)
with data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
September 2022
REAP_PI_SA1400_100_PN
 
   

Interactive TableTip: To augment your analysis click on the column headers in the following table to rank and/or sort the data.

   
 
United States:
Population, 1958-2021
 
1958
 
174,153,000
100.0
N
1959
 
177,136,000
101.7
1.71
1960
 
179,972,000
103.3
1.60
1961
 
182,976,000
105.1
1.67
1962
 
185,739,000
106.7
1.51
1963
 
188,434,000
108.2
1.45
1964
 
191,085,000
109.7
1.41
1965
 
193,460,000
111.1
1.24
1966
 
195,499,000
112.3
1.05
1967
 
197,375,000
113.3
0.96
1968
 
199,312,000
114.4
0.98
1969
 
201,298,000
115.6
1.00
1970
 
203,798,722
117.0
1.24
1971
 
206,817,509
118.8
1.48
1972
 
209,274,882
120.2
1.19
1973
 
211,349,205
121.4
0.99
1974
 
213,333,635
122.5
0.94
1975
 
215,456,585
123.7
1.00
1976
 
217,553,859
124.9
0.97
1977
 
219,760,875
126.2
1.01
1978
 
222,098,244
127.5
1.06
1979
 
224,568,579
128.9
1.11
1980
 
227,224,719
130.5
1.18
1981
 
229,465,744
131.8
0.99
1982
 
231,664,432
133.0
0.96
1983
 
233,792,014
134.2
0.92
1984
 
235,824,907
135.4
0.87
1985
 
237,923,734
136.6
0.89
1986
 
240,132,831
137.9
0.93
1987
 
242,288,936
139.1
0.90
1988
 
244,499,004
140.4
0.91
1989
 
246,819,222
141.7
0.95
1990
 
249,622,814
143.3
1.14
1991
 
252,980,941
145.3
1.35
1992
 
256,514,224
147.3
1.40
1993
 
259,918,588
149.2
1.33
1994
 
263,125,821
151.1
1.23
1995
 
266,278,393
152.9
1.20
1996
 
269,394,284
154.7
1.17
1997
 
272,646,925
156.6
1.21
1998
 
275,854,104
158.4
1.18
1999
 
279,040,168
160.2
1.15
2000
 
282,162,411
162.0
1.12
2001
 
284,968,955
163.6
0.99
2002
 
287,625,193
165.2
0.93
2003
 
290,107,933
166.6
0.86
2004
 
292,805,298
168.1
0.93
2005
 
295,516,599
169.7
0.93
2006
 
298,379,912
171.3
0.97
2007
 
301,231,207
173.0
0.96
2008
 
304,093,966
174.6
0.95
2009
 
306,771,529
176.2
0.88
2010
 
309,378,433
177.6
0.85
2011
 
311,841,632
179.1
0.80
2012
 
314,344,331
180.5
0.80
2013
 
316,735,375
181.9
0.76
2014
 
319,270,047
183.3
0.80
2015
 
321,829,327
184.8
0.80
2016
 
324,367,742
186.3
0.79
2017
 
326,623,063
187.5
0.70
2018
 
328,542,157
188.7
0.59
2019
 
330,233,102
189.6
0.51
2020
 
331,501,080
190.4
0.38
2021
 
331,893,745
190.6
0.12
Source: Calculations by the United States Regional Economic Analysis Project (US-REAP)
with data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
September 2022
REAP_PI_SA1400_100_PN
 
   
Copyright © 2022. Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Analysis Project (PNREAP). All Rights Reserved.

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