Idaho and Nevada tied as the nation’s fastest-growing states between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Overall, the U.S. population grew by 0.6 percent. Idaho’s and Nevada’s populations increased by about 2.1 percent. The next largest percentage increases in population were Utah (1.9 percent), Arizona (1.7 percent), and Florida and Washington (1.5 percent each).
Population declines were also common, with losses occurring in nine states and Puerto Rico. The nine states that lost population last year were New York (down 48,510), Illinois (45,116), West Virginia (11,216), Louisiana (10,840), Hawaii (3,712), Mississippi (3,133), Alaska (2,348), Connecticut (1,215) and Wyoming (1,197).
“Many states have seen fewer births and more deaths in recent years,” said Sandra Johnson, a demographer/statistician in the Population Division of the Census Bureau. “If those states are not gaining from either domestic or international migration they will experience either low population growth or outright decline.”
Nationally, natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) was 1.04 million last year, reflecting 3,855,500 births and 2,814,013 deaths. With fewer births in recent years and the number of deaths increasing, natural increase has declined steadily over the past decade. In 2008, natural increase was nearly 1.8 million (based on National Center for Health Statistics data).
Other highlights from the U.S. Census Bureau
- As a whole, the U.S. population continues to grow due to both natural increase and international migration. Though international migration was slightly higher last year (978,826 compared to 953,233 the year before), natural increase was slightly lower last year (1,041,487 compared to 1,122,546 the year before).
- Texas had the largest numeric growth over the last year, with an increase of 379,128 people. Texas grew both from having more births than deaths and from net gains in movers from within and outside the United States.
- Florida had the highest level of net domestic migration in the last year, at 132,602. Since 2010, Florida has gained a total of 1,160,387 people from net domestic migration.
- Washington, D.C., reached a population of 702,455 in July 2018, surpassing 700,000 for the first time since 1975. The change is due primarily to an influx of people from other parts of the country that began early in the decade.
- Puerto Rico’s population has continued to decline, with an estimated loss of 129,848 people (3.9 percent) between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018.
Top 10 States in Percentage Growth: 2017 to 2018