The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the U.S. population to be approximately 329 million as of 2020, a 0.35% increase compared to 2019. Some states saw significant increases in population numbers that contributed to this overall growth. However, other states saw a population decline. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the top fastest-growing states during this period were Arizona and Idaho.
The U.S. Census Bureau data show that the most significant population growth occurred throughout the South and West regions of the U.S. Each region recorded an increase of 0.77% and 0.45%, respectively. However, not all states in these regions saw growth. The Census Bureau estimates that 16 U.S. states law population loss in 2020, such as California, Connecticut, Hawaii, West Virginia, and Illinois.
Fastest-Growing States in the U.S.
Idaho had a population growth of 2.12%, growing from 1,789,060 to 1,826,913. People from all over the U.S. are being drawn to Idaho for its affordability and the strong job market. Additionally, Boise has a rapidly growing tech sector. Many people migrating to Idaho are from California, most likely due to its affordability (especially compared to California) and a much lower population density. Despite the state's rapid growth, it is the 12th-smallest state in the U.S.
Arizona is the second-fastest growing state with a percent growth of 1.78%. Arizona’s population increased by 129,558 from 7,291,843 in 2019 to 7,421,401 in 2020. Arizona is attractive because of its sunny weather, good job market, affordability, and a wide variety of entertainment options such as festivals, museums, celebrity-owned restaurants, and more. Arizona also has the Grand Canyon. Arizona is considered one of the states with the best weather.
Nevada is the third-fastest growing state in the United States. Between 2019 and 2020, Nevada’s population increased 1.54% from 3,090,771 to 3,138,259. A majority of new residents migrated from California, followed by Texas, Arizona, and other western states. Unsurprisingly, real estate rental and leasing was the fastest growing industry in the states by total economic output due to the growing demand for housing. Additionally, this has led to growing home prices, with the average home value currently around $307,360.
Utah is the fourth-fastest growing state with a percent growth of 1.45%, growing from 3,203,383 to 3,249,879, a growth of 46,496 people. Unlike other rapidly-growing states, the high birth rate of 14.9 per 100,000 accounted for most of the population growth in Utah rather than people migrating from other states. About 62% of Utah residents are Mormon, who have an average of 3.4 children compared to 2.1 children among all American adults.
Texas grew 1.29% from 2019 to 2020. Its current population is 29,360,759, a growth of 373,965 from 2019. This means that Texas's population grows by over 1,000 people per day. Texas has the fifth-highest birth rate in the U.S. of 13.2 births per 100,000 people. However, only 40% of its population growth is attributed to natural increases, while 60% is due to net migration. Recently, international migration has exceeded domestic migration, with an increase in migration from Asian countries, especially China and India.
South Carolina's growth rate from 2019 to 2020 was 1.19%, making it the sixth-fastest growing state in the U.S. South Carolina's population grew from 5,157,702 to 5,218,040, and the population has grown for nine years straight. South Carolina's increase is due to net migration. South Carolina has some of the best weather among U.S. states, with lots of sunshine and mild winters. Additionally, the state's economy is strong, and housing is generally affordable.
Florida is the seventh-fastest growing state in the U.S., with a growth percentage of 1.12%. Florida’s population grew by 478,386, from 21,254,926 to 21,733,312. Florida is the third-largest state by population in the United States; however, even the large net migration to the state has not been enough to raise housing values back to their pre-recession values. Florida has no state income tax; the cost of living is relatively lower than other East Coast states and has warm weather year-round.
Washington's population grew by 1.05% between 2019 and 2020, growing from 7,614,024 to 7,693,612. Washington has no state income and is considered to be one of the most beautiful states for its cascading mountains and national parks. Washington is also considered to have the best overall quality of life because of its strong job market, a low poverty rate, and the overall health of its residents.
Delaware grew 1.04% between 2019 and 2020, its population increasing from 976,668 to 986,809. Unlike other Northeast states, Delaware is seeing a growing population and has one the ninth-fastest growing population in the U.S. Although Delaware's cost of living index is around 8% than the national average, it is the lowest in the Northeast. Housing in Delaware is less expensive than the national average, which, coupled with beautiful scenery and beaches, makes an appealing destination for those relocating.
Montana finishes the top ten list of fastest-growing states. Montana grew 0.98% from 2019 to 2020. Its population increased by 10,454 from 1,070,123 to 1,080,577. Montana is one of the least densely populated states, but this is one possible reason why more people are moving there. Most people migrating to Montana are from other western states and are settling into the state's western parts.