Skip to navigation

Skip to main content

Rural Migration News Blog

contact us

US Population in 2020

 Click here to download this blog post as a PDF file

September 13, 2021

The median age of US residents was 38.5 in 2020, up from 37.2 in 2010; the median age of Hispanics was 30. There were 73 million US residents under 18 (22 percent of the population), 204 million who were 19 to 64 (62 percent), and 54 million who were 65 or older (16 percent), including six million who were 85 or older.

Diversity. Over half of US population growth over the past decade came from increases in Hispanic residents.

51% of the growth in the US population between 2010 and 2020 was among Hispanics

The non-Hispanic white population dropped below 60 percent for the first time; some 204 million or 58 percent of US residents were non-Hispanic whites in 2020, down from 64 percent in 2010. The next largest group was Hispanics, 62 million people or 19 percent of US residents, Blacks 41 million or 12 percent, and Asians, 20 million or six percent of US residents. The 3.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives were 1.1 percent of US residents.

The share of non-Hispanic whites fell from 79% in 1980 to 58% in 2020

Almost half of US residents under 19 were Hispanic (62 million), Black (41 million), Asian (20 million), or multirace (34 million).

Many Hispanics also identify as white, explaining why there are 204 million non-Hispanic whites and 235 million people who are non-Hispanic white or white plus another race or ethnicity.

The Hispanic population rose by 11 million between 2010 and 2020; the white population fell by 5 million

The “diversity explosion” is reflected in rising shares of the minority population in almost all US counties, especially in midwestern and southern counties. The non-Hispanic white population rose in some southeastern coastal counties due the movement of retirees to these areas.

The minority share of the population rose in almost all US counties

The Census calculates a racial and ethnic diversity index that estimates the probability that two people chosen at random will be from different racial and ethnic groups; more diverse states and areas have higher index scores. The most diverse states are HI and CA, where the index is 70 percent or higher, while the lowest scores are in the northeastern states such as Maine, where there is less than a 20 percent chance that two people chosen randomly will be from different racial and ethnic groups.

Hawaii is the most diverse and Maine is the least diverse state


Distribution. Some 52 percent of US counties lost population between 2010 and 2020. By contrast, the cores of metro areas with more than a million residents saw their populations increase by an average nine percent, while their suburbs experienced 10 percent population growth.

Small towns and rural areas lost residents between 2010 and 2020

Deaths exceeded births in many rural counties and in some states, including five states where deaths exceeded births in both 2019 and in 2020, and 25 states where deaths exceeded births only in 2020. There were 3.6 million births in the US in 2020, down 150,000 from 2019, while deaths rose to 3.4 million due to covid and other factors.

Deaths exceeded births in 25 states in 2020

The five largest cities in 2020 were New York (8.8 million), Los Angeles (3.4 million), Chicago (2.7 million), Houston (2.3 million), and Phoenix (1.6 million),, as Philadelphia (1.6 million), fell to sixth. The most populous county was Los Angeles, with more than 10 million residents.

The US has 384 metropolitan statistical areas that each have more than 50,000 people, led by New York with 20.1 million, Los Angeles with 13.2 million, Chicago with 9.6 million, Dallas with 7.6 million, Houston with 7.1 million, Washington DC with 6.4 million, Philadelphia with 6.2 million, and Miami and Atlanta, 6.1 million each. Some

72 MSAs lost population between 2010 and 2020, led by Pine Bluff AR, down 14 percent to 87,000, and Danville, IL, down nine percent to 74,000. The smallest MSA is Carson City, NV with 59,000 residents.

The 2020 census data will be used to redraw the boundaries of legislative districts and reapportion House seats and thus electoral votes. Texas gained two House seats and five states gained one each: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon. Seven states lost one seat each: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Two thirds of US residents answered the census questions by mail, on line, or in person, about the same as in 2010. However, many did not answer all of the census questions, which forced the census to fill in the blanks by using responses from neighbors.


Frey, William. 2018. Diversity Explosion How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America. Brookings.

2020 Census.

Subscribe via Email

Click here to subscribe to Rural Migration News via email.