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Top 10 fastest growing states
Go West or South, young man. Most everybody, including home buyers, seems to be doing it.
December 22, 2005: 12:37 PM EST
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The South and the West remain hot in more ways than a thermometer can measure.

Those two regions have a disproportionate number of the fastest-growing states in the country, according to the Census Bureau, which released its latest state population estimates on Thursday.

For the 19th straight year, Nevada was the fastest growing state. Its population rose 3.5 percent for the year ended at mid-year in 2005.

The population in Arizona, the No. 2 fastest growing state, grew at just under 3.5 percent. (see correction)

The other fastest growing states were Idaho (up 2.4%), Florida (up 2.3%) and Utah (up 2%), in the top five.

Much of the increase in the populations of the fastest growing states was due to migration of residents from elsewhere.

The Census findings are in keeping with a trend among home buyers and home owners to move away from high-priced markets to more moderately priced ones.

Atlanta, Dallas, Jacksonville, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon, have been highly desirable in this regard. (For more, click here.)

Overall, the population in the country as a whole rose 0.9 percent (or about 2.8 million people) to 296.4 million. More than half of that came from growth in five states: Florida, Texas, California, Arizona and Georgia.

The 10 most populous states, meanwhile, account for 54 percent of the U.S. population. The 2005 list contains many of the usual suspects: California, with 36.1 million people, followed by Texas, with 22.9 million people, and New York, with 19.3 million people.

The others in the list of the 10 most populous states are: Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and New Jersey.

The Census estimates were taken before Hurricane Katrina hit, so they do not reflect the migration of residents that occurred as a result of that storm.  Top of page

Population: State by state rankings
The U.S Census Bureau's annual ranking. Click on state name for cities in the Best Places to Live database and get more statistics.
State Population Change % Change
Alabama 4,557,808 32,433 0.7%
Alaska 663,661 5,906 0.9%
Arizona 5,939,292 199,413 3.5%
Arkansas 2,779,154 29,154 1.1%
California 36,132,147 290,109 0.8%
Colorado 4,665,177 63,356 1.4%
Connecticut 3,510,297 11,331 0.3%
Delaware 843,524 13,455 1.6%
District of Columbia 550,521 -3,718 -0.7%
Florida 17,789,864 404,434 2.3%
Georgia 9,072,576 154,447 1.7%
Hawaii 1,275,194 13,070 1.0%
Idaho 1,429,096 33,956 2.4%
Illinois 12,763,371 51,355 0.4%
Indiana 6,271,973 45,436 0.7%
Iowa 2,966,334 13,430 0.5%
Kansas 2,744,687 10,990 0.4%
Kentucky 4,173,405 31,570 0.8%
Louisiana 4,523,628 16,943 0.4%
Maine 1,321,505 6,520 0.5%
Maryland 5,600,388 39,056 0.7%
Massachusetts 6,398,743 -8,639 -0.1%
Michigan 10,120,860 16,654 0.2%
Minnesota 5,132,799 36,253 0.7%
Mississippi 2,921,088 20,320 0.7%
Missouri 5,800,310 40,778 0.7%
Montana 935,670 8,750 0.9%
Nebraska 1,758,787 11,083 0.6%
Nevada 2,414,807 81,909 3.5%
New Hampshire 1,309,940 10,771 0.8%
New Jersey 8,717,925 32,759 0.4%
New Mexico 1,928,384 25,378 1.3%
New York 19,254,630 -26,097 -0.1%
North Carolina 8,683,242 142,774 1.7%
North Dakota 636,677 369 0.1%
Ohio 11,464,042 13,899 0.1%
Oklahoma 3,547,884 24,338 0.7%
Oregon 3,641,056 49,693 1.4%
Pennsylvania 12,429,616 35,145 0.3%
Rhode Island 1,076,189 -3,727 -0.3%
South Carolina 4,255,083 57,191 1.4%
South Dakota 775,933 5,312 0.7%
Tennessee 5,962,959 69,661 1.2%
Texas 22,859,968 388,419 1.7%
Utah 2,469,585 48,877 2.0%
Vermont 623,050 1,817 0.3%
Virginia 7,567,465 86,133 1.2%
Washington 6,287,759 80,713 1.3%
West Virginia 1,816,856 4,308 0.2%
Wisconsin 5,536,201 32,668 0.6%
Wyoming 509,294 3,407 0.7%

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said that Nevada was the 17th most populous state...it is the 35th, according to the latest Census report.

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