GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Arizona was the nation’s sixth fastest-growing state in 2017. Arizona’s population increased 1.6 percent to 7.4 million from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s national and state population estimates released Dec. 20. Idaho was the nation’s fastest-growing state with 1.7 million.
Following Idaho for the largest percentage increases in population were: Nevada (2.0 percent), Utah (1.9 percent), Washington (1.7 percent), and Florida along with Arizona.
“Domestic migration drove change in the two fastest-growing states, Idaho and Nevada, while an excess of births over deaths played a major part in the growth of the third fastest-growing state, Utah,” said Luke Rogers, Chief of the Population Estimates Branch.
The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, representing a 0.72 percent increase to 325.7 million. Furthermore, the population of voting-age residents grew to 252.1 million, an increase of 0.93 percent from 2016.
Net international migration decreased 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017, making it the first drop since 2012-2013. However, net international migration continues to be a significant factor in the population growth of the United States, adding just over 1.1 million people in the last year.
Eight states lost population between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017. Illinois had the largest numeric decline, losing 33,703 people (this was a relatively small percentage change compared to its population of 12.8 million). Wyoming had the largest percentage decline (1.0 percent).
States in the south and west continued to lead in population growth. In 2017, 38 percent of the nation’s population lived in the south and 23.8 percent lived in the west.
Texas tallied the biggest numeric growth with its population increasing by nearly 400,000 residents in 2017. The state’s population now stands at nearly 28.3 million residents —an increase of more than 3 million residents since 2010.
New estimates show that Puerto Rico had an estimated population of 3.3 million, a decline from 3.4 million in 2016.
The estimates for Puerto Rico do not reflect the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September. The estimates for Gulf states affected by Hurricane Harvey in August and Hurricane Irma in September are also not reflected in the July 1, 2017, estimates.