Continuing a trend that has been underway for more than a generation, the U.S. Census Bureau is reporting that states in both the South and West have seen the greatest population increases in the country during the last decade.
Altogether, the nation’s population was up by 7.4% since 2010, with Utah seeing an 18.4% increase, followed by Idaho at 17.3%, and Texas, at just under 16%.
Both Arizona and Colorado were in the second-highest category, with increases of between 10% and 15%.
Combined, the states of the West were up by 9.2% in the latest Census survey.
New Mexico, with a growth rate of 2.8%, had the second slowest growth rate in the West, ahead of Wyoming at 2.3%.
Despite the lower numbers, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said an exhaustive effort had been made to count everyone in the state, noting: “The results of this immense effort will ensure that New Mexico receives every federal dollar to which we are entitled.”
While Arizona’s population was up by some 700,000 people in the last decade, that increase, according to reports, was not enough to give it a new seat in Congress.
While Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has not yet officially commented on the Census numbers, the Arizona Complete County Committee noted that “countless volunteers embarked on a statewide campaign to reach underrepresented communities, resulting in Arizona’s highest self-response rate in decades.”
Colorado’s gain of nearly 800,000 people, on the other hand, means it will almost certainly have a new Congressional seat. In a statement, Colorado Governor Jared Polis said the new Census numbers reflect “incredible growth and transformation in our state.”
New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and California are all expected to lose one Congressional seat each as a result of the new population figures.
While the nation’s total population, according to the Census, has now topped 331 million people, the rate of growth in the last decade was one of the slowest since the years of the Great Depression.
By Garry Boulard
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