Economy

This Is the State Where the Population Dropped Fastest, Census Shows

The U.S. population grew at the slowest rate since the 1930s over the period from 2010 to 2020. The decennial census, used for a number of things, including the apportioning of congressional districts, showed that over the 10 years that ended April 1, 2020, the number of Americans rose 7.4% to 331,449,281. Officials said the birthrate fell, as did immigration. Notably, the count came before the wave of fatal COVID-19 fatal cases and excess deaths, so between April 1 and today, the U.S. population likely declined.

The agency claims that its work is not over. Acting Director Jarmin said: “Now that the apportionment counts are delivered, we will begin the additional activities needed to create and deliver the redistricting data that were previously delayed due to COVID-19.”

Three states lost population from 2010 to 2020. The largest loss by far on a percentage basis was West Virginia, where it dropped 3.2%, or 59,278, to 1,793,716. That makes it the 39th largest state based on population. It had the largest decline, based on both the total count and the percent figure.

The population of Mississippi fell 0.2%, or 6,018, to 2,961,279. That puts it in 34th place based on that measure. The population of Illinois dropped by 0.1%, or 18,124, to 12,812,508. It ranks sixth based on its total population.

Texas had the largest rise in total population. The increase was 3,999,994 to 29,145,505, which is higher by 15.9%. Texas kept its spot as the second-largest state behind California, where the number rose by 2,284,647 to 39,538,223, an increase of 6.1%.

The state that grew the fastest over the period on a percentage basis was Utah, where the population surged 18.4% to 3,271,616, which is up by 507,731. Utah remains a small state, ranked 30th among all states based on absolute population. That is up from 34th place in 2010.

Idaho was the second-fastest-growing state on a percentage basis, up 17.3%, or 271,524, to 1,839,106, which puts it 38th among all states.

The composition of West Virginia’s population decrease won’t be known for several months, when the Census Bureau releases more data on the demographics of each state.

Click here to see the population and demographics of every state.