Special Report

This State Had the Biggest Population Drop in the Past 10 Years

Vasyl Dolmatov / Getty Images

The U.S. census has been conducted once every decade since 1790. The first results of the 2020 survey were released in April, and they show that the country’s population grew over the previous 10 years at the second-lowest pace in history, increasing by 7.4%, to 331,449,281 — about half the rate it grew by in the previous ten years, during which the last millennials (the largest generation in American history) were born.

While U.S. population growth regularly topped 30% in the 1800s, the last time the U.S. exhibited growth above 20% was prior to World War I. The only time the U.S. population grew at a slower rate than in the 2010s was in the wake of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

That era also saw a redistribution of the population around the country, as impoverished families packed up and moved to greener pastures — sometimes literally, considering that the Dust Bowl turned swaths of America into arid wasteland. Some rural areas in Oklahoma and Texas, for example, experienced population declines of 25% while California’s population jumped nearly 22% in the 1930s.

In the 2010s, Americans continued to migrate to the country’s South and West. Traditional migration magnets California and New York have been losing out to the Sunbelt states of Florida and Texas. California just gave up a population-linked congressional seat for the first time in 170 years, while Ohio, New York, Colorado, Montana and Oregon also lost political influence in the House of Representatives. Florida and North Carolina each gained a seat while Texas gained two.

Our analysis includes the resident population for the 50 states, as ascertained by the Twenty-Fourth Decennial Census under Title 13, United States Code, and counts of U.S. military and federal civilian employees living overseas (and their dependents living with them overseas) allocated to their home state, as reported by the employing federal agencies. Overseas is defined as any location outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. The apportionment population excludes the populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

West Virginia had the largest population drop in the last 10 years. Here are the details:

> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: -3.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,854,239
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,793,716

Click here to see how every state’s population has changed since 2010

Source: Chilkoot / Getty Images

1. Alabama
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.7%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 713,910
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 733,391

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Source: Dreamframer / Getty Images

3. Arizona
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +11.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 6,407,172
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 7,151,502

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

4. Arkansas
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +3.1%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 2,921,964
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 3,011,524

Source: choness / Getty Images

5. California
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +5.9%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 37,319,502
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 39,538,223

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Source: Planet Unicorn / Getty Images

6. Colorado
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +14.4%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 5,047,349
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 5,773,714

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

7. Connecticut
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +0.7%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 3,579,114
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 3,605,944

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

8. Delaware
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +10.0%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 899,593
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 989,948

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

9. Florida
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +14.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 18,845,537
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 21,538,187

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

10. Georgia
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +10.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 9,711,881
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 10,711,908

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Source: okimo / iStock via Getty Images

11. Hawaii
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +6.7%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,363,963
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,455,271

Source: knowlesgallery / Getty Images

12. Idaho
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +17.1%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,570,746
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,839,106

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

13. Illinois
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: -0.2%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 12,840,503
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 12,812,508

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

14. Indiana
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +4.5%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 6,490,432
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 6,785,528

Source: pabradyphoto / Getty Images

15. Iowa
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +4.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 3,050,745
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 3,190,369

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

16. Kansas
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.8%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 2,858,190
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 2,937,880

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

17. Kentucky
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +3.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 4,348,181
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 4,505,836

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

18. Louisiana
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.5%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 4,544,532
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 4,657,757

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

19. Maine
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,327,629
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,362,359

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

20. Maryland
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +6.7%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 5,788,645
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 6,177,224

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

21. Massachusetts
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +7.1%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 6,566,307
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 7,029,917

Source: pawel.gaul / Getty Images

22. Michigan
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.0%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 9,877,510
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 10,077,331

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Source: Scruggelgreen / Getty Images

23. Minnesota
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +7.5%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 5,310,828
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 5,706,494

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

24. Mississippi
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: -0.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 2,970,548
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 2,961,279

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

25. Missouri
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.7%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 5,995,974
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 6,154,913

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Source: peeterv / Getty Images

26. Montana
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +9.4%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 990,697
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,084,225

Source: ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

27. Nebraska
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +7.2%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,829,542
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,961,504

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Source: gchapel / Getty Images

28. Nevada
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +14.9%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 2,702,405
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 3,104,614

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

29. New Hampshire
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +4.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,316,762
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,377,529

Source: Creative-Family / Getty Images

30. New Jersey
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +5.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 8,799,446
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 9,288,994

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Source: ferrantraite / Getty Images

31. New Mexico
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 2,064,552
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 2,117,522

Source: FilippoBacci / Getty Images

32. New York
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +4.1%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 19,399,878
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 20,201,249

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

33. North Carolina
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +9.0%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 9,574,323
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 10,439,388

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

34. North Dakota
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +15.5%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 674,715
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 779,094

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

35. Ohio
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 11,539,336
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 11,799,448

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

36. Oklahoma
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +5.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 3,759,944
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 3,959,353

Source: 4nadia / Getty Images

37. Oregon
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +10.4%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 3,837,491
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 4,237,256

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

38. Pennsylvania
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 12,711,160
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 13,002,700

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

39. Rhode Island
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +4.1%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,053,959
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,097,379

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

40. South Carolina
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +10.4%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 4,635,649
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 5,118,425

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Source: EunikaSopotnicka / Getty Images

41. South Dakota
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +8.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 816,166
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 886,667

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

42. Tennessee
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +8.7%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 6,355,311
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 6,910,840

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

43. Texas
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +15.5%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 25,241,971
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 29,145,505

Source: johnnya123 / Getty Images

44. Utah
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +17.9%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 2,775,332
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 3,271,616

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

45. Vermont
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.7%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 625,879
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 643,077

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

46. Virginia
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +7.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 8,023,699
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 8,631,393

Source: thyegn / iStock via Getty Images

47. Washington
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +14.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 6,742,830
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 7,705,281

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

48. West Virginia
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: -3.3%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 1,854,239
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 1,793,716

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

49. Wisconsin
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +3.6%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 5,690,475
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 5,893,718

Source: collins_family / Flickr

50. Wyoming
> Pct. change in population, 2010-2020: +2.2%
> Resident population, July 1, 2010: 564,487
> Resident population, April 1, 2020: 576,851

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