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Largest Census-to-Census Population Increase in U.S. History
As Every State Gains, Census Bureau Reports
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The increase of 32.7 million people in the United States between 1990
and 2000 is the largest 10-year population increase in U.S. history. For
the first time in the 20th century all states gained population, according
to the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.
In this second in a series of Census 2000 briefs titled Population
Change and Distribution: 1990 to 2000, the Census Bureau analyzed the
nation's population's growth from 248.7 million in 1990 to 281.4 million
in 2000 at the state, metropolitan area, county and large city levels.
The previous record increase between decennial censuses, the 28.0
million jump between 1950 and 1960, occurred during the post-World War II
West, South Lead Regions
During the past decade, the fastest-growing region was the West at 19.7
percent, which added 10.4 million people in the 1990s for a total of 63.2
million. The fastest-growing states in the nation were all located in the
West: Nevada (66.3 percent), Arizona (40.0 percent), Colorado (30.6
percent), Utah (29.6 percent) and Idaho (28.5 percent). California
recorded the largest numeric increase of any state, 4.1 million people.
The South was the second fastest-growing region (17.3 percent), adding
a total of 14.8 million people in the 1990s. Georgia was its fastest
growing state (up 26.4 percent). Texas, which grew by 3.9 million, and
Florida, up 3.0 million, showed the largest numeric increases.
The Midwest grew by 7.9 percent, adding 4.7 million people. Minnesota
(up 12.4 percent) was the region's bellwether for the third straight
decade. Illinois, up 988,000, and Michigan, up 643,000, recorded the
largest numeric increases. The state with the nation's lowest population
growth was in the Midwest: North Dakota (up 0.5 percent).
Population in the Northeast increased by 2.8 million, or 5.5 percent
with New Hampshire (up 12.4 percent) growing the fastest in that region
for the fourth straight decade. Meanwhile, New York, up 986,000, and New
Jersey, up 648,000, gained the most population in the Northeast.
Patterns in County Growth
Counties with large population increases generally were in or near
major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston and
Washington, D.C. Maricopa County, Ariz. (Phoenix) had the largest
population gain: 950,000 people. Counties in Florida, north Georgia, North
Carolina, Tennessee, southwest Missouri and eastern Texas experienced
rapid population growth.
A band of counties that lost population in some cases more than 10
percent stretched across the Great Plains states from the Mexican to the
Canadian borders. A second band of slow growth included much of the
interior Northeast and Appalachia, extending from Maine through
western Pennsylvania and West Virginia to eastern Kentucky.
"Given the regional population trends of the last decade, it is not
surprising that counties and cities with the biggest gains are in the West
and South while the Northeast had the largest declines," said Census
Bureau demographer Marc Perry. "Douglas County, Colo., near Denver grew by
an astounding 191 percent the fastest growth of any county in the
Metro Area, City Populations Mostly Up
New York continued to be the most populous metro area with a population
of 21.2 million, followed by Los Angeles with a population of 16.4
million. Las Vegas was the fastest-growing metropolitan area with an 83.3
percent growth rate. It was followed by Naples, Fla., with a growth rate
of 65 percent, and seven other areas with growth rates between 44.0 and
50.0 percent. The 10 fastest-growing metro areas were located in the South
In 2000, more than 8 out of 10 of the nation's population (226.0
million) lived in metropolitan areas and 3 in 10 were in metro areas of at
least 5.0 million people. Metro areas with populations between 2.0 million
and 5.0 million contained 14.4 percent of the population
and grew the fastest (19.8 percent).
Also released today were tables with total population rankings for
states, metro areas, counties and selected places. Tables for states and
cities of 100,000 or more population by race and Hispanic origin also were
released and are available at http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html.
To view the entire Census 2000 brief, go to http://www.census.gov/
FYI: The GeoCommunity is now distributing 2000 TIGER Data from the Census Bureau for $99.
Email email@example.com for details.
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