Dec. 20, 2018
WASHINGTON – Dec. 19, 2018 – The U.S. population grew by 0.6 percent over the past year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Larger states such as Florida aren't usually in the running for "highest percentage growth" since their base populations are so large going in, however, and the Census Bureau reports that Nevada and Idaho were the nation's fastest-growing between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018. Both states' populations increased by about 2.1 percent in the last year.
Florida still made the top 5 list for percentage growth, however: Following Nevada and Idaho for the largest percentage increases in population were Utah (1.9 percent), Arizona (1.7 percent), and Florida and Washington (1.5 percent each).
States that lost population
Population declines were also common over the year, with a population decrease in nine states and Puerto Rico. The states that lost population last year were:
- New York (down 48,510)
- llinois (45,116)
- West Virginia (11,216)
- Louisiana (10,840)
- Hawaii (3,712)
- Mississippi (3,133)
- Alaska (2,348)
- Connecticut (1,215)
- Wyoming (1,197)
"Many states have seen fewer births and more deaths in recent years," says 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.
New estimates show that Puerto Rico's population continued to decline, with an estimated loss of 129,848 people (3.9 percent) between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018.
"Puerto Rico has seen a steady decline in population over the last decade," says Johnson. "Hurricane Maria in September of 2017 further impacted that loss, both before and during the recovery period."
Puerto Rico had a total population of 3,195,153 in 2018, a decrease from 3,726,157 in 2010. The decrease in Puerto Rico's population is primarily due to higher rates of out-migration over in-migration and natural increase.
July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018 Census Bureau study highlights
- 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 (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.
- The voting age population, those 18 years and over, increased by 0.9 percent to 253,768,092 people in 2018.
- The estimates do not reflect the effects of Hurricane Florence in September 2018, Hurricane Michael in October 2018, and the California wildfires.
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