State Demography Office

COVID-19’s Impact on Births and Deaths Results in a Record Number of Counties Experiencing Natural Decrease

The U.S. Census Bureau released their county-level vintage 2021 population estimates, and they report that more than 73% (2,297) of U.S. counties experienced natural decrease in 2021 - up from 45.5% in 2019 and 55.5% in 2020. In Colorado, 35 of the 64 counties (55%) experienced natural decrease. Natural decrease occurs when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given period. Aging in the U.S. and Colorado, as well as increased mortality due to COVID and fewer births, contributed to this rise in natural decrease.