The Top 10 Fastest Growing States

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Utah is the nation's fastest-growing state according to the latest census data. Its population climbed 2.5 percent in the last reported year.

The only two states to lose population were Michigan and Rhode Island. Michigan's population declined 0.5 percent (46,000), while Rhode Island's fell 0.2 percent (2,000).

California remained the most populous state, with about 36.8 million people on July 1, 2008. Rounding out the top five states were Texas (24.3 million), New York (19.5 million), Florida (18.3 million) and Illinois (12.9 million). 

  1. Utah
    Population gain: 67,499
    2008: 2,736,424
    2007: 2,668,925
    % growth: 2.5
  2. Arizona
    Population gain: 146,759
    2008: 6,500,180
    2007: 6,353,421
    % growth: 2.3
  3. North Carolina
    Population gain: 180,820
    2008: 9,222,414
    2007: 9,041,594
    % growth: 2.0
  4. Texas

    Population gain: 483,542
    2008: 24,326,974
    2007: 23,843,432
    % growth: 2.0
  5. Colorado
    Population gain: 96,686
    2008: 4,939,456
    2007: 4,842,770
    % growth: 2.0
  6. Idaho
    Population gain: 27,671
    2008: 1,523,816
    2007: 1,496,145
    % growth: 1.8
  7. Nevada
    Population gain: 45,823
    2008: 2,600,167
    2007: 2,554,344
    % growth: 1.8
  8. Wyoming
    Population gain: 9,416
    2008: 532,668
    2007: 523,252
    % growth: 1.8
  9. Georgia
    Population gain: 162,447
    2008: 9,685,744
    2007: 9,523,297
    % growth: 1.7
  10. South Carolina
    Population gain: 74,886
    2008: 4,479,800
    2007: 4,404,914
    % growth: 1.7

Other highlights:

  • On the whole, the Northeastern states have gained population at an increasing rate since 2005, a turnaround from their declining growth rates from 2000 to 2005.
  • Six of the 10 fastest-growing states from 2007 to 2008 were Rocky Mountain states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Three others lined the South Atlantic coast: Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • The West was the fastest-growing region (1.4 percent) between 2007 and 2008, but the South added the highest number of people over the period (1.4 million).
  • The estimated July 1, 2008, population for Puerto Rico was 4 million, up by 0.3 percent (13,000) from one year earlier.
Source: Census.gov
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