NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

If Demography Is Destiny, Good News for Texas, North Dakota and D.C.

January 14, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual estimates of the populations of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in an effort to track demographic changes. It gives demographers an opportunity to see how and where the nation is growing, as well as the flow of citizens and immigrants across the country, says Michael Barone, a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.

The United States has grown from 308 million people in 2010 to 313 million in July 2012, a rate of about 1.7 percent.

  • The fastest growth has been in the District of Columbia at 5.1 percent.
  • In second is North Dakota at 4 percent, which is most likely due to the Bakken shale oil boom.
  • Texas has the next fastest growth rate, growing at 3.6 percent to 26 million residents.
  • Utah and Colorado each grew more than 3 percent due to high birth rates and a desire to live near ski areas.
  • North Dakota and Washington, D.C., experienced the largest inflows from other states, at 2.6 and 2.4 percent of their 2010 populations, respectively.

Some states were not as lucky, as many people moved elsewhere for economic opportunities.

  • Rhode Island and Michigan have seen drops in their populations in the last two years because of poor economic performance.
  • However, Michigan seems to be rebounding, growing enough to make the net total loss 275 people in the last two years.
  • Nevada and Arizona, the two biggest growth states of the last two decades, are growing more slowly and have been outpaced by Washington state.
  • Ohio also experienced significant outflow.

Immigration, as well as movement within the country, has dipped.

  • International migration was only 0.6 percent of the 2010 population.
  • Immigrants have chosen to head to a few metro areas like New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, and Orlando, instead of the country's heartland.
  • California and Nevada top the national average in immigration, but just slightly.

Source: Michael Barone, "If Demography Is Destiny, Good News for Texas, North Dakota and D.C.," Washington Examiner, January 1, 2013.


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