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First Population Estimates Since 2010 Census are Released

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It probably seems like just yesterday that you filled out and mailed back your 2010 Census form. But it has already been well over a year, and in that time, our society has hardly remained static.

Today, the Census Bureau released its first set of population estimates since the initial release of census results a year ago. These numbers estimate the total population of each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as of July 1, 2011, and measure how much the population has increased or decreased in these jurisdictions since the 2010 Census. A combination of administrative records — including birth and death records and tax returns from the IRS — and survey data are utilized to arrive at these figures.

According to the results, Texas has gained more people since the census than any other state, adding more than a half million people. California, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina followed. Altogether, these five states accounted for slightly more than half the nation’s total population growth.

Nationally, the U.S. population growth of 0.92 percent between the census and July 1, 2011, marked its lowest since the mid-1940s. The fastest-growing state or equivalent since the census was the District of Columbia, whose population rose 2.7 percent. This marks the first time the District of Columbia led states and equivalents in growth since the early 1940s.

The list of fastest-growing states and equivalents includes some states that in recent years have not been there. One state that falls into this category is North Dakota, which ranked 37th in population growth between censuses, but sixth since the 2010 census. Other fast-growing states, such as Texas, Utah, Alaska and Colorado, were no strangers on the list.

California, with 37.7 million residents, remains our most populous state. Wyoming remains the least populous state, with 568,000 residents.

To see the complete list of the fastest-growing states and those with the largest numerical increase, as well as other highlights from the state population estimates, read the press release.

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