U.S. population growth has slowed to the lowest rate since the Great Depression, the Census Bureau said Monday, as Americans continued their march to the South and West and one-time engines of growth, New York and California, lost political influence.

Altogether, the U.S. population rose to 331,449,281 last year, the Census Bureau said, a 7.4% increase over the previous decade that was the second-slowest ever. Experts say that paltry pace reflects the combination of an aging population, slowing immigration and the scars of the Great Recession more than a decade ago, which led many young adults to delay marriage and families.

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