In 1960, according to the Census Bureau, New York State was the largest in America, based on population, at 16,782,304. That was up 13.2% over the 1950 figure. It was inevitable New York would lose its position. Over the same period, California’s population rose 48.5% to 15,717,204 and would continue to surge. Florida barely made the top 10 by this measure.
Fast forward to 2020. New York is the fourth-largest state by population at 19,378,102. California was first at 37,253,956, followed by Texas at 25,145,561 and Florida at 18,801,310. Most likely New York will grow very little over the next decade while the populations of Texas and Florida rise rapidly.
State populations are important for several reasons, not the least of which is federal government aid and the number of members of the House of Representatives.
The University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Services has a Demographics Research Group that forecasts population both by state and nationally. The work of their experts is well regarded. According to the management: “The Cooper Center projections have been widely used by many federal agencies and states. Numerous data users were referred by the Census Bureau to the Cooper Center website, including the Congressional Budget Office.”
The group recently forecast population by state and age. One set of figures predicts population by state in 2040. By then, Texas will have come very close to being the largest state in America. California will have kept its first-place spot, and the spread between Florida and New York will have increased. New York’s population will have barely grown over more than two decades, while Florida’s will have jumped.
These will be the 10 largest states by population in 2040:
- California (46,467,001)
- Texas (40,015,913)
- Florida (28,886,983)
- New York (20,873,488)
- Georgia (12,820,271)
- Pennsylvania (12,809,150)
- North Carolina (12,658,927)
- Illinois (12,397,564)
- Ohio (11,751,540)
- Michigan (9,960,115)
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