The Fastest Growing (and Shrinking) States

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The Fastest Growing States

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8. Arizona
> 1-yr pop. growth rate: 1.66%
> Current population: 6.93 million
> 2015 population: 6.82 million
> 10-yr pop. growth rate: 14.96%

Arizona’s population grew by 1.7% in 2016, more than twice the 0.7% national population growth rate. Much of Arizona’s growth was due to new residents migrating to the state. A net total of 61,544 Americans relocated to Arizona that year, the fourth most of any state. Many of those moving to Arizona likely came for employment opportunities. From 2015 to 2016, Arizona’s unemployment rate fell from 6.0% to 5.3% — one of the largest percentage-point drops of any state over the period.

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7. Colorado
> 1-yr pop. growth rate: 1.68%
> Current population: 5.54 million
> 2015 population: 5.45 million
> 10-yr pop. growth rate: 17.37%

Colorado’s population grew by 1.7% in 2016, among the fastest pace of any state. Like many of the fastest growing states, domestic migration contributed the most to Colorado’s rapid population growth. A net influx of 50,216 Americans relocated to Colorado in 2016, more than all but five other states. Colorado has sustained rapid population growth throughout the past decade. Since 2006, the state’s population has increased by 17.4%, the fastest pace of any state other than Texas and Utah. The population growth occurred alongside a steep decline in unemployment. Just 3.3% of the Colorado labor force is unemployed, tied with Vermont as the sixth lowest unemployment rate of any state.

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6. Oregon
> 1-yr pop. growth rate: 1.71%
> Current population: 4.09 million
> 2015 population: 4.02 million
> 10-yr pop. growth rate: 11.51%

Since 2006, Oregon’s population has grown at an average rate of 1.1%. The state’s population growth rate spiked in 2016, when the number of residents in the state grew 1.7% — faster than nearly any other state. Approximately 3 in every 4 new Oregonians in 2016 moved to the state from elsewhere in the country, with the remaining population increase due to natural growth — the number of births less the number of deaths. Many new residents likely came to Oregon for economic opportunity. The state’s unemployment rate fell from 5.6% in 2015 to 4.9% in 2016, one of the largest percentage-point declines of any state.

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5. Washington
> 1-yr pop. growth rate: 1.78%
> Current population: 7.29 million
> 2015 population: 7.16 million
> 10-yr pop. growth rate: 14.40%

Washington state’s population grew by 1.8% in 2016, more than twice the 0.7% national population growth rate. Washington has sustained relatively fast population growth over the past decade. The state’s population increased by 14.4% from 2006 to 2016, the eighth fastest pace of any state. The state’s strong population growth over the past decade was accompanied by a substantial increase in GDP. From the second quarter of 2006 to the second quarter of 2016, Washington’s GDP grew at an average rate of 2.2% a year — the fourth fastest pace of any state. Washington’s information sector — which includes industry giants Microsoft, Amazon, and Expedia — grew faster than in any other state other than Pennsylvania over that period.