The country's overall population in 2019 was slightly more than 328 million, according to data published this week by the Census Bureau. That's up less than 0.5% – or roughly 1.5 million people – over the year, continuing a trend of slowing growth dating back to 2015. Only Texas and Florida ranked among both the fastest-growing states and the largest states in 2019.
Arizona ranked third in percentage growth rate in 2019, according to estimates. Arizona welcomed more than 120,000 residents from 2018 to 2019, a growth rate of nearly 1.7 percent, which bests states like Utah (1.662), Texas (1.283), Washington (1.210), Colorado (1.185), Oregon (0.857) and New Mexico (0.195). With a nearly 1.7 percent growth from July 2018 to July 2019, Arizona jumped from fourth to third-highest rate of growth in the nation.
Since 2015, Arizona has added an estimated 548,304 residents with a 6.6 percent growth rate during that time. Arizona’s estimated 120,693 new residents between 2018 and 2019 more than doubled California’s 50,635 new residents. Additionally, two states—Illinois and New York—lost residents, with 51,250 and 76,790 people leaving the states, respectively.
State Policy Reports recently ranked Arizona fourth in economic momentum as well as in the top five for growth in personal income, employment and population. Arizona has added more than 300,000 jobs since 2015 while investing in things that matter most, like K-12 public education, public safety and our roads and bridges.
But in 11 states growth over the past year eclipsed 1%. Populations declined in another 10 states, including West Virginia, Alaska, Illinois, New York, Hawaii, Louisiana, Connecticut, Mississippi, Vermont and New Jersey.The South led all regions in 2019 with population growth of 0.81%, followed closely by the West at nearly 0.66%. For many states, a decline in births has contributed to lackluster population growth in recent years. Arizona was among the eight states where the number of births in 2019 ticked up over the course of the year - Washington, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Vermont and Colorado. In West Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont deaths exceeded births according to the Census Bureau.
California remained the most populous state in 2019, with more than 39.5 million residents. Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania rounded out the top 5 in terms of population size. Wyoming was the least populous state, with fewer than 580,000 residents. Vermont, Alaska, North and South Dakota and Delaware were the next smallest in terms of population.
The South led all regions in 2019 with population growth of 0.81%, followed closely by the West at nearly 0.66%. The Northeast's population, meanwhile, dropped by slightly more than 0.1%For many states, a decline in births has contributed to lackluster population growth in recent years.
In only eight states did the number of births in 2019 tick up over the course of the year – Washington, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Vermont and Colorado. In West Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, more deaths than births were recorded by the Census Bureau.
The results of the census will be used to determine how 435 seats in the House seats are apportioned for the next 10 years. This impacts a state's political power in Congress and importance in presidential elections, as Electoral College votes are determined by the size of a state's congressional delegation. The reapportionment is expected in December 2020, resulting in the lengthy process of each state redrawing congressional maps for the 2022 midterm elections.
The Census Bureau released its final population estimates ahead of next year's census in a report this week also. An analysis of the figures by the consulting group Election Data Services shows the 10 states set to lose a congressional district:
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Among the seven states set to gain seats, Texas and Florida are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries, gaining at least three and two congressional districts respectively. That would give Texas the second-largest number of congressional districts and electoral votes in the country, behind California. Florida is also a critical state in presidential elections. The winner of every election since 1996 has captured the Sunshine State.
Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are each set to gain one congressional district, according to Election Data Services.