Utah lived up to its nickname, the Beehive State, with new residents swarming to it in 2016. Helped by affordable home prices and steady job creation, Utah had the highest population increase in 2016, rising 2.03 percent, adding more than 60,000 people, including 25,000 who migrated to the state. Of the migration, 19,000 were domestic.
Since 2010, Utah has gained 287,329 more people in its total population, which is currently 3.1 million.
The data come from U.S. Census Bureau national and state population estimates released at the end of December. The numbers account for population growth between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016. To calculate an estimate, the Census took the most recent population base number and added births, subtracted deaths, and added net migration, both domestic and international.
While Utah was the only state to experience a 2 percent increase, Nevada (1.95 percent increase to 2.9 million in population), Idaho (1.83 percent to 1.7 million), Florida (1.82 percent to 20.61 million), and Washington (1.78 percent to 7.3 million) also had significant population expansions.
In terms of migration, from 2015 to 2016, 325,986 people moved to Florida, with 207,155 of them domestic. Texas, at 217,542, was the only other state to gain 100,000 residents through net migration. “States in the South and West continued to lead in population growth,” Ben Bolender, chief of the Population Estimates Branch, said in a statement. “In 2016, 37.9 percent of the nation’s population lived in the South and 23.7 percent lived in the West.”
Population expansion has slowed in North Dakota to 0.1 percent from 2.3 percent last year, experiencing a net migration loss estimated at 4,684 people. Due to the oil boom, North Dakota had been the fastest-growing state for the previous four years, and the state’s current population of 757,952 is still the highest it’s ever been.
Illinois experienced the largest drop in total population, losing 37,508 from its total of 12.8 million people in 2015. The Land of Lincoln had the largest decrease of net migration, losing 83,210 (114,144 people in domestic migration). New York (191,367) and California (109,023) also had six-figure net domestic migration losses.
Nationally, the U.S. population grew by 0.7 percent to 323.1 million.