Guess which state populations are growing the fastest?

10-most-populated-states-2015-16-censusUtah was the nation’s fastest growing state by percentage growth, but Texas added the most people for the 12 months through July 1, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The total U.S. population increased by 0.7 percent to 323.1 million people, with most growth occurring in southern and western states.

California remains the most populous state, with over 39 million people. Texas is second, with nearly 28 million people. (See chart at upper right.)

10-fastest-growing-states-by-number-2015-16-census

Texas added the most people — 432,957 people — followed by Florida  (+367,525) and California (+256,077). (See chart at right.)

Utah’s s population rose 2 percent to cross the 3 million mark (to 3.1 million people). The next fastest-growing states by percentage were Nevada and Idaho. (See chart below.)

Here are some other notable changes from the Census data from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016:

  • Nearly 38 percent of the U.S. population living in the South and 24 percent living in the West, said Ben Bolender, chief of the Census population estimates branch.

10-fastest-growing-states-by-percent-2015-16-census

  • Eight states declined in population, led by Illinois’ loss of 37,508 people. Three states — Pennsylvania, New York and Wyoming — saw declines after each grew in population in the previous 12 months. (See map at top.)
  • Two states that lost population from 2014-15 — Maine and New Mexico – saw their populations increase by 0.15 percent and 0.03 percent, respectively.
  • North Dakota saw a precipitous decline in population due to the oil crisis. It had been the fastest-growing state for the previous four years as people moved there for the natural gas boom, but it fell off the top 10 growth list as people left in the last year as jobs disappeared. The state’s population growth slowed to 0.1 percent from 2.3 percent in 2014-15.
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