WASHINGTON — North Dakota’s total population climbed by 2.17 percent between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012. This is the fastest growth of any state, and nearly three times faster than the nation as a whole, according to Census Bureau state population estimates released recently.
The Census Bureau produces population estimates each year, allowing our nation, states and communities to gauge our growth and demographic composition. The population estimates use administrative data to estimate population change between census years, using the decennial census count as a starting point. Estimates are used by local governments to locate services and by the private sector to locate businesses.
Following North Dakota in terms of percent increase over the same period were the District of Columbia (2.15 percent), Texas (1.67 percent), Wyoming (1.60 percent), Utah (1.45 percent) and Nevada (1.43 percent).
North Dakota ranked only 37th in growth between the 2000 and 2010 censuses and climbed to sixth between 2010 and 2011. Each of the 10 fastest-growing states were in the South or West with the exception of North Dakota and South Dakota.
The United States as a whole saw its population increase by 2.3 million from 2011 to 2012, to 313.9 million, for a growth rate of 0.75 percent. Texas gained more people than any other state in the year ending July 1 (427,400), followed by California (357,500), Florida (235,300), Georgia (107,500) and North Carolina (101,000).
These five states combined accounted for more than half of the nation’s total population growth. In addition to 50 states and the District of Columbia, the release also includes estimates for Puerto Rico. California remained the most populous state, with a July 1 population of 38.0 million.
Rounding out the top five states were Texas (26.1 million), New York (19.6 million), Florida (19.3 million) and Illinois (12.9 million). The only two states to lose population between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012, were Rhode Island (-354 or -0.03 percent) and Vermont (-581 or -0.09 percent).