Research: Florida and Idaho Lead in Population Growth in the US

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In the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida and Idaho have emerged as the fastest-growing states in America. While many states are experiencing varying levels of population growth or decline, these two stand out with their impressive growth rates.

From July 2021 to June 2022, Florida and Idaho saw population increments of 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. This surge in population growth has resulted in the total population of Florida reaching a staggering 22.2 million, while Idaho’s population has risen to 1.9 million.

Following Florida and Idaho in the population growth rankings are South Carolina, Texas, and South Dakota. These states have each shown considerable population growth, albeit for different reasons. Texas, for instance, benefits from both a high birth rate and robust levels of national and international migration. Conversely, the growth in Idaho, South Carolina, and South Dakota is primarily due to domestic relocation.

Interestingly, Florida, the state with the largest net birth deficit in the country, relies heavily on domestic migration for its population growth. This reliance has been further underscored by a significant contribution from international migration.

Statista’s Katharina Buchholz highlights that the pandemic has brought about a unique shift in population trends across the United States. More states have started losing population during the pandemic due to a combination of higher death rates and new migration patterns. The number of states experiencing population decline has grown from ten between 2018 and 2019 to 18 between 2021 and 2022.

Prior to the pandemic, states in the West and South had been attracting new residents with their low cost of living, low taxes, and affordable housing. However, the onset of the pandemic caused a seismic shift in population dynamics. As remote work became the norm, many white-collar workers from more expensive coastal states began seeking cheaper living options elsewhere.

The relatively relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in the South and West may have also played a part in encouraging this population shift. The freedom to live and work with fewer restrictions has certainly been an attractive prospect for many.

New York, a state that was already losing population pre-pandemic due to declining immigration numbers, has seen even more people leaving during the pandemic. The state now faces a population deficit of -0.9 percent, a notable increase from the previous -0.4 percent.

Other populous states, such as California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, only started to see a decrease in population during the pandemic. This trend has coincided with a rise in population growth in the South and West. For example, Texas has seen its population growth rise from 1.3 percent to 1.6 percent, while Florida’s growth has jumped from 1.1 percent to 1.9 percent.

Other states in the West, including Montana and South Dakota, have also enjoyed substantial population growth. Montana has seen its growth rise from 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent, while South Dakota’s growth has increased from 0.7 percent to 1.5 percent. These figures serve as further evidence of the significant population shifts occurring across the United States.

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