The U.S. annual population growth recently hit its lowest level in 80 years. Even with the recent slowdown, the U.S. population has been growing steadily for years. There are nearly 18.5 million more people living in the United States today than there were in 2010 — a 6.0% increase.
Despite the slowing population growth on a national level, there are areas across the country that are growing rapidly. Even states with modest or negative population growth have at least one county home to more people now than in 2010. Here is a list of the fastest growing (and shrinking) states.
Reviewing population change figures from the U.S. Census Bureau from April 2010 through July 2018, 24/7 Wall St. identified the fastest growing county in each state. County equivalents like parishes and boroughs were also considered.
Natural growth — births minus deaths — is the largest source of population growth for the United States as a whole. Immigration from other countries accounts for the rest of the growth. In the counties on this list, however, most of the population growth is due to people moving in at a much faster rate than leaving.
In nearly every county on this list, the vast majority of residents live in urban areas. According to United Nations projections, some 87.4% of Americans will live in an urban area in 2050 compared to about 82% today. Americans may choose to relocate to an urban area for more job opportunities, walkability, access to services, shopping, entertainment, and other amenities.
Urban areas also tend to offer a greater concentration job and career opportunities — and many counties on this list have a particularly strong labor market. The vast majority of these counties have a lower unemployment rate than the state as a whole. Here is a list of the cities adding the most jobs in every state.
To identify the fastest growing county in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the eight-year population estimate change from the U.S Census Bureau’s Annual Estimates of the Resident Population from April 2010-July 2018. Only counties with a base population (from April 2010) greater than 10,000 were considered.