Special Report

The Fastest Growing (and Shrinking) States

The Fastest Growing States

6. Utah
> 1-yr pop. growth rate:
> Current population: 2,995,919
> 2014 population: 2,944,498
> 10-yr pop. growth rate: 21.3%

In the past year, Utah’s population has increased by 1.7%, one of only six states where the growth rate was double the national pace of 0.8%. Unlike most states with rapidly increasing populations, the majority of Utah’s growth was not due to migration. With about 17 births per 1,000 residents, Utah has the highest birth rate in a single year of any state. The high birth rate, which accounted for 51,516 new Utah residents last year, may be partially due to the state’s large share of Mormon residents, who tend to have large families. Utah also had the lowest death rate in the country, with about five deaths per 1,000 people.

Wealth is also on the rise in Utah. A decade ago, the typical household in the state earned $47,934 a year. Today, a typical Utah household makes $60,922 annually. The 27.1% rise in median household income is the fourth largest of any state. The high incomes reflect a healthy economy, which is among the major factors potential new residents consider when relocating.

5. Texas
> 1-yr pop. growth rate:
> Current population: 27,469,114
> 2014 population: 26,979,078
> 10-yr pop. growth rate: 20.2%

The second most populous state in the country, Texas is also one of the fastest growing. As of July 2015, 27.5 million people called Texas home, up 1.8% from the year before. Over that year, Texas had one of the highest birth rates in the country along with one of the lowest death rates. The Lone Star State’s population also grew by 271,661 people from migration over the same period.

Between the natural and migration population growth rates over the past 10 years, an average of 1,263 people have joined Texas’ population each day, the fastest such growth of any state. A strong economy has kept unemployment low, which has likely helped attract new residents. Over the same 10 year period, unemployment declined by 1 percentage point, while it increased in most states.

4. Florida
> 1-yr pop. growth rate:
> Current population: 20,271,272
> 2014 population: 19,905,569
> 10-yr pop. growth rate: 13.9%

In the last 10 years, Florida’s population grew by an average of roughly 680 people per day. While natural growth — a state’s birth rate outpacing its death rate — was the main source of growth in some states, migration accounted for the vast majority of Florida’s growth. Nearly 92% of new Floridians moved to the state, one of the highest migration rates in the nation.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida overtook New York as the third most populous state in the country in late 2014. Since then, the population gap between the two states has only increased. Between July 2014 and July 2015, Florida’s population grew by 1.8% to 20.3 million. Over the period, New York’s population only grew by 0.2% to 19.8 million.

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