U.S. population growth slows

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, the population of the United States is growing at its slowest rate in more than 70 years. The country's population increased by an estimated 2.8 million to 311.6 million from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 says the report. The growth rate of 0.92 percent was the lowest since the mid-1940s.

“The nation's overall growth rate is now at its lowest point since before the Baby Boom,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said in a statement.

Texas gained more people than any other state in the 15-month period, at 529,000, followed by California at 438,000, Florida at 256,000, Georgia at 128,000, and North Carolina at 121,000, according to the latest Census estimates. These five states accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population growth, the bureau said. The only three states to lose population in the period were Rhode Island, down 1,300 or -0.12 percent; Michigan, down 7,400, or -0.08 percent; and Maine, down 200, or -0.01 percent.

The District of Columbia experienced the fastest growth rate, at 2.7 percent, in the period. Following D.C. in terms of percentage increase were Texas at 2.1 percent, Utah at 1.9 percent, Alaska at 1.8 percent, Colorado at 1.7 percent and North Dakota at 1.7 percent.

California remained the most populous state, with population of 37.7 million. Rounding out the top five most populous states were Texas with 25.7 million people, New York with 19.5 million, Florida with 19.1 million, and Illinois with 12.9 million.

The Census Bureau released state population estimates as of July 1, 2011. The data show annual changes through births, deaths, and domestic and foreign migration. In all, 38 states showed lower growth in 2010 and 2011 than in either of the previous two years during the recession. Of those, 23 are in the South and West regions. Moreover, 28 states showed either slower in-migration or greater out-migration than in either of the first two years of the recession. These include Nevada and Arizona, but also Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado and Utah.

Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services, said if the 2010 count had been held this year, Minnesota would have lost a seat in the House of Representatives and North Carolina would have picked up one due to the shifting population figures.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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