States in the South and West Led 2017 Population Growth


The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, representing a 0.7% increase from 323.4 million to 325.7 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s national and state population estimates.

Despite some volatility, U.S. population growth has been slowly declining since 1992 as shown by the chart below. Over the 1990 to 1999 period the average annual growth of the US population was 1.2%. During the 2000-2009 period, the average annual growth slowed to 1.0%. However, population growth broadly accelerated between 2003 and 2006. During the 2010-2017 period, annual growth averaged 0.8%.

Between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017 Idaho had the largest population growth of 2.2%, with an estimated population of over 1.7 million people. Other states in the West, Nevada, Utah and Washington, and the Southern state of Florida rounded out the top 5 states which had the largest percentage increases in population during this time.

Texas had the largest numeric increase, adding 399,734 to the population between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017. Florida, California, Washington, and North Carolina rounded out the top five states which posted the largest numeric increase in population, adding up to a total of 1,209,261 people over these five states. This is 52.3% of the total 2.3 million added in 2017.

Eight states had a population decline over this period with Wyoming posting the largest percentage decline of 0.96%. Other states registering population declines over the 12-month period included West Virginia, Illinois, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana, and North Dakota. Illinois had the largest numeric decline, losing 33,703 people although compared to the state population of 12.8 million it’s a relatively smaller decline.

California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania remain the top five most populous states in 2017. Below table shows the share of population in each state for 2017.

Geography Share of Population in 2017
U.S. – Total 325,719,178
California 12.1%
Texas 8.7%
Florida 6.4%
New York 6.1%
Pennsylvania 3.9%
Illinois 3.9%
Ohio 3.6%
Georgia 3.2%
North Carolina 3.2%
Michigan 3.1%
New Jersey 2.8%
Virginia 2.6%
Washington 2.3%
Arizona 2.2%
Massachusetts 2.1%
Tennessee 2.1%
Indiana 2.0%
Missouri 1.9%
Maryland 1.9%
Wisconsin 1.8%
Colorado 1.7%
Minnesota 1.7%
South Carolina 1.5%
Alabama 1.5%
Louisiana 1.4%
Kentucky 1.4%
Oregon 1.3%
Oklahoma 1.2%
Connecticut 1.1%
Iowa 1.0%
Utah 1.0%
Arkansas 0.9%
Nevada 0.9%
Mississippi 0.9%
Kansas 0.9%
New Mexico 0.6%
Nebraska 0.6%
West Virginia 0.6%
Idaho 0.5%
Hawaii 0.4%
New Hampshire 0.4%
Maine 0.4%
Rhode Island 0.3%
Montana 0.3%
Delaware 0.3%
South Dakota 0.3%
North Dakota 0.2%
Alaska 0.2%
District Of Columbia 0.2%
Vermont 0.2%
Wyoming 0.2%

Research conducted by the Congressional Budget Office found that demographic changes are a key component of housing construction over the longer-term. Regional analysis by the National Multifamily Housing Council has found that population increase is still the most important determinant of multifamily construction and the leading factor which contributes to demand in multifamily permits. NAHB will continue to monitor these trends and assess their implications for housing construction going forward.

These tables show population in thousand for each state in 2016 and 2017 and the percentage change between this time period.

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