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Growth states: Arizona overtakes Nevada

Texas adds most people overall; Louisiana population declines nearly 5 percent.

By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Arizona replaced longtime leader Nevada as the fastest-growing state in the union during the 12 months ended July 1, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The population of the Grand Canyon State grew 3.6 percent during that period. Nevada grew by 3.5 percent.

Rounding out the top five growers were Idaho ( 2.6 percent), Georgia and Texas (both 2.5 percent).

In absolute numbers, Texas was the biggest gainer. Its population increased by 579,275 during the period. Second was Florida, which gained 321,697 residents.

North Carolina, which gained 184,086 people, a 2.1 percent increase, passed New Jersey, which gained just 21,410 residents, to break into the 10 most populous states list.

That most populous list is topped by California with 36.5 million residents. About one of every eight Americans lives in the Golden State.

Regionally, the West grew faster than any other area, 1.5 percent. The South was next at 1.4 percent, with the Midwest third (0.4 percent) and the Northeast trailing (0.1 percent).

Louisiana lost residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Its population dropped by 219,563 people, or 4.9 percent.

Other states that lost residents were Rhode Island (minus 0.6 percent), the District of Columbia (down 0.09 percent), Michigan and New York (both down 0.05 percent). Top of page