New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Alabama attracting more migrants from other U.S. states, but the state likely doesn’t have enough population momentum to avoid losing a congressional seat after this year’s Census count.
Alabama added 15,504 residents between July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2019, the period covered by the estimates. Only one other year this decade, 2012, did Alabama add as many new residents. Since the 2010 census, Alabama is estimated to have added 123,060 new residents. PARCA’s interactive charts allow you to explore the new statewide estimates. The button on the bottom right allows for a full-screen display.
That 2019 performance ranks Alabama 20th in numeric change and 25th in percentage change among the states. Ten states, including Mississippi, Louisiana, and West Virginia lost population in 2019, according to the estimates.
The net number of residents moving to Alabama from other states was 9,387, by far the highest total in domestic migration since 2010. During the middle years of the decade just-ended, Alabama was losing residents to other states.
Alabama’s birth rate, 11.7 per 1,000, is also slightly higher than the national average of 11.6 per 1,000. Census estimates that 57,313 new Alabamians were born in 2019.
However, Alabamians die at a higher rate than people in other states. Among U.S. states, only West Virginia has a higher death rate. Alabama saw 53,879 deaths in 2019, according to the estimates. That’s a rate of 11 deaths per 1,000 population, compared to 8.7 per 1,000 nationally. As the population ages, the death rate in Alabama and across the U.S. has increased over the course of the decade, while the birth rate has declined.
Alabama is also in the bottom 10 states when it comes to attracting international migrants. The Census Bureau estimates Alabama had a net gain of 2,772 international immigrants in 2019, compared with a gain of 3,379 the year before.
The 2019 net gain was the smallest gain through international immigration for Alabama since 2010. Before 2016, the state saw several years in which international immigration was contributing a net of 5,000 new residents to the state each year. Alabama is not the only state to see a drop-off. Nationwide, the number of new residents moving to the U.S from abroad was estimated to be 595,348 in 2019. That compares to more than 1 million immigrants moving to the U.S. in 2016.
While Alabama is seeing modest population growth, its growth rate is under the average for the South.
The Census South region includes many of the fastest-growing states in the country: North and South Carolina, Florida and Texas, Georgia and Tennessee. Overall, the states in the region grew by 9.6% since 2010. Alabama’s population grew by 123,060, or 2.6% over the same period.
North Carolina, which has added almost 1 million people since the last Census, and Florida, which has added almost 2.7 million, are expected to gain additional representation in Congress.