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Census Bureau: Illinois has largest population loss in U.S.; Utah is fastest growing state

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Illinois lost more residents than any other state in the country, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The state, which has been battling image problems along with a General Assembly unable to approve a budget, lost more than 37,000 people from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016, the bureau report said. 

Meanwhile, Utah's population crossed the 3.0 million mark as it became the nation's fastest-growing state over the last year. Utah’s population increased 2.0 percent to 3.1 million from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016, according to the Census Bureau's national and state population estimates

"States in the South and West continued to lead in population growth," said Ben Bolender, chief of the Population Estimates Branch. "In 2016, 37.9 percent of the nation's population lived in the South and 23.7 percent lived in the West."

Following Utah, Nevada (2.0 percent), Idaho (1.8 percent), Florida (1.8 percent) and Washington (1.8 percent) saw the largest percentage increases in population.

North Dakota, which had been the fastest-growing state for the previous four years, mostly from people moving into the state, fell out of the top ten in growth due to a net outflow of migrants to other parts of the country. Its growth slowed from 2.3 percent in the previous year to 0.1 percent.

Nationally, the U.S. population grew by 0.7 percent to 323.1 million. Furthermore, the population of voting-age residents, adults age 18 and over, grew to 249.5 million, making up 77.2 percent of the population in 2016, an increase of 0.9 percent from 2015 (247.3 million).

Eight states lost population between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, including Pennsylvania, New York and Wyoming, all three of which had grown the previous year. 

Illinois lost more people than any other state (-37,508).

Two states that had been losing population in the previous year, Maine and New Mexico, saw increases in population of 0.15 and 0.03 percent respectively.   

In addition to the population data for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the new estimates show that Puerto Rico had an estimated population of 3.4 million, a decline from 3.5 million in 2015. Estimates of the components of population change (births, deaths, and migration) were also released today.

Top 10 Most Populous States: 2016
Rank Name 2010 2015 2016
1 California 37,254,522 38,993,940 39,250,017
2 Texas 25,146,100 27,429,639 27,862,596
3 Florida 18,804,592 20,244,914 20,612,439
4 New York 19,378,110 19,747,183 19,745,289
5 Illinois 12,831,574 12,839,047 12,801,539
6 Pennsylvania 12,702,857 12,791,904 12,784,227
7 Ohio 11,536,727 11,605,090 11,614,373
8 Georgia 9,688,680 10,199,398 10,310,371
9 North Carolina 9,535,688 10,035,186 10,146,788
10 Michigan 9,884,129 9,917,715 9,928,300

Top 10 States in Numeric Growth: 2015 to 2016
Rank Name 2010 2015 2016 Numeric change
1 Texas 25,146,100 27,429,639 27,862,596 432,957
2 Florida 18,804,592 20,244,914 20,612,439 367,525
3 California 37,254,522 38,993,940 39,250,017 256,077
4 Washington 6,724,545 7,160,290 7,288,000 127,710
5 Arizona 6,392,301 6,817,565 6,931,071 113,506
6 North Carolina 9,535,688 10,035,186 10,146,788 111,602
7 Georgia 9,688,680 10,199,398 10,310,371 110,973
8 Colorado 5,029,324 5,448,819 5,540,545 91,726
9 Oregon 3,831,072 4,024,634 4,093,465 68,831
10 South Carolina 4,625,410 4,894,834 4,961,119 66,285

Top 10 States in Percentage Growth: 2015 to 2016
Rank Name 2010 2015 2016 Percent change
1 Utah 2,763,888 2,990,632 3,051,217 2.03
2 Nevada 2,700,691 2,883,758 2,940,058 1.95
3 Idaho 1,567,650 1,652,828 1,683,140 1.83
4 Florida 18,804,592 20,244,914 20,612,439 1.82
5 Washington 6,724,545 7,160,290 7,288,000 1.78
6 Oregon 3,831,072 4,024,634 4,093,465 1.71
7 Colorado 5,029,324 5,448,819 5,540,545 1.68
8 Arizona 6,392,301 6,817,565 6,931,071 1.66
9 District of Columbia 601,766 670,377 681,170 1.61
10 Texas 25,146,100 27,429,639 27,862,596 1.58

During 2017, the Census Bureau will release estimates of the 2016 population of counties, cities and towns, and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas as well as national, state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin. Population estimates for Puerto Rico and its municipios by age and sex will be released as well.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).

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