The Most Populous and Fastest-Growing US States

December 30, 2014

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Demographics & Audiences

CensusBureau-Population-Trends-Most-Populous-States-2010-2014-Dec2014It came close last year, but now Florida has overtaken New York to become the third most-populous state in the US, according to the US Census Bureau, which released updated figures last week. As of July 1, 2014, the Census Bureau estimates that there were 19.9 million Florida residents, versus New York’s 19.7 million, with Florida adding 293,000 residents over the prior year (803 per day) compared to 51,000 additional for New York.

According to Census Bureau data covering 2012, the New York to Florida move was the most common state-to-state move, with almost 60,000 residents making it.

California remains easily the most populous state in the nation, according to the latest data. It saw an increase of more than 371 thousand residents year-over-year, second only in number to Texas (451,321), the second-most populous state.

While Texas, California and Florida boasted the largest numerical increases in residents, on a percentage basis it was North Dakota that emerged as the fastest-growing, with its population size expanding by 2.16% year-over-year. Nevada (1.71%) and Texas (1.7%) followed, with Colorado (1.59%) and the District of Columbia (1.51%) rounding out the top 5. The Census Bureau notes that aside from North Dakota, each of the top 10 fastest-growing states (in percentage terms) are in the South or West.


Other Findings:

  • Six states saw their populations decline between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. They were: Illinois; West Virginia; Connecticut; New Mexico; Alaska; and Vermont. Illinois remains the 5th-most populous state, with roughly 93 thousand more residents than Pennsylvania (12.88 million and 12.79 million, respectively).
  • Puerto Rico’s population continues to drop, down 1.3% from a year earlier, equivalent to a loss of 47 thousand.
  • Georgia, the 8th-most populous state, passed 10 million residents for the first time.
  • Overall, the US population stood at 318.9 million as of July 1, 2014, an increase of 2.4 million (0.75 million). Separately, the Census Bureau projects that the US population on New Year’s Day 2015 will be 320,090,857. The world population is projected to be 7,214,958,996.
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