North Dakota Fastest-Growing, Florida Closes in on New York

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Trucks sit outside a row of temporary housing units for oil workers in Tioga, North Dakota.

North Dakota, where an energy boom has produced the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, is adding people at a faster rate than any other state.

That’s according to an estimate released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which said today that North Dakota increased its population by 2.17 percent in the year ended July 1, growing to 699,628 from 684,740. North Dakota’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The District of Columbia grew by 2.15 percent, followed by a string of Southern and Mountain West states where the population has surged for decades. Texas, the second-most populous state, grew by 1.67 percent and added 427,400 people during the year, more than any other state.

Texas was followed by Wyoming (1.6 percent), Utah (1.45 percent), Nevada (1.43 percent), Colorado (1.39 percent) and Arizona (1.33 percent).

Political Capital also watches the state population numbers because faster-growing states win more representation in Congress than slower-growing states when the 435 House seats are reapportioned every decade after the Census.

Florida will overtake New York as the third most-populous state sometime this decade. Florida had 19,317,568 residents to New York’s 19,570,261 on July 1, a difference of 252,693, according to the Census Bureau. New York had 419,354 more people than Florida a year earlier.

Georgia, with 9.9 million people as of July 1, supplanted Michigan as the eighth most-populous state, according to the Census Bureau estimate.

The U.S. population was about 313.9 million on July 1, up 0.75 percent and 2.3 million people from a year earlier.


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