Western States See Migration Spike As Nationwide Population Growth Idles

Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona all grew 1.6 percent last year

January 3, 2017

The nation’s population growth has fallen to 0.7 percent, the lowest rate since the Great Depression. But, a handful of western states are faring just fine.

CityLab reports that Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona all experienced population growth rates of 1.6 percent in 2016 from 2015. Other sunny states, including Texas, Florida, and Georgia, also increased their growth last year.

The data come from Brookings Institution analysis of a December report from the Census Bureau.

On the other end, northern states such as Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut all experienced losses last year. North Dakota had the highest growth rate at 2.29 percent in 2015, but it fell to 0.15 percent last year.

Folks are headed toward Texas, which was doing well during the downturn, and continues to be a hub of economic activity. They’ve also been fanning out to Washington, North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Georgia, and Nevada, where jobs have grown since the recession and living is much more affordable.

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