The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the U.S. population to be approximately 329 million as of 2020, a 0.35% increase compared to 2019, and projections indicate the population will continue to expand not only through 2023, but for at least the next several decades. However, population growth is not uniform across all 50 states. Some states saw significant increases in population, while others saw a population decline.
The U.S. Census Bureau's data show that the most significant population growth occurred throughout the South and West regions of the country. 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 saw population loss during 2020, such as California, Connecticut, Hawaii, West Virginia, and Illinois. However, all but three of these states recovered and returned to positive growth in the ensuing years.
Top 12 Fastest-Growing US States (by percentage growth rate):
|Rank||State||% Growth Since 2010|
|n/a*||District of Columbia||18.97%|
* The District of Columbia is a federal district rather than a state, but is tracked like a state by the U.S. Census Bureau and is listed here for the sake of inclusive comparison.
Fastest-Growing States in the U.S.
Utah was the fastest-growing state in the U.S. from 2010 to 2023, with a total growth of 23.88% during that time. Utah's 2023 annual growth rate is 1.5%. Unlike other rapidly growing states, whose growth is primarily due to migration from other states, Utah's growth is largely the result of the state's high birth rate of 14.9 per 100,000 residents. About 62% of Utah's residents are Mormon, who have an average of 3.4 children compared to 2.1 children among all American adults.
Idaho's population grew 22.52% from 2010 to 2023, a percentage increase that ranked second-highest among all states. Idaho's 2023 growth rate is an estimated 1.43% per year. People from all over the U.S. are drawn to Idaho for its affordability, lower population density, and strong job market. Additionally, Idaho's capital city of Boise has a rapidly growing tech sector. Despite the state's rapid growth, Idaho's population remains the 12th-smallest of any U.S. state—at least, for the time being.
Texas grew 20.68% from 2010 to 2023, the third-highest increase of any state, and has an estimated 2023 growth rate of 1.34%. Because Texas is the second-most-populous state and has more than 30 million residents already, a 1.34% annual growth rate means that the population of Texas grows by more than 1,100 people per day.
Texas has one of the highest birth rates in the U.S., with roughly 13.2 births per 100,000 people each year. However, only 40% of the state's population growth is attributable to in-state births. The other 60% is due to net migration from other states and countries. Recently, international migration has exceeded domestic migration thanks to an increase in migration from Asian countries, especially China and India.
4. North Dakota
The fourth-highest population increase by percentage of 2010-2023 belongs to North Dakota, where the population grew by 20.59% and the 2023 rate of increase is projected to be 1.33%. A virtual opposite of Texas, which is the second-most-populous state in the US, North Dakota has the fourth-smallest population, with approximately 800,000 residents. Therefore, while the percentage of growth each state experienced was nearly identical, the actual real-world numbers resulting from that growth are quite different. While North Dakota's rise of 20.59% resulted in a gain of 10,650 residents, Texas' rise of 20.68% equaled a gain of 5,199,926 residents.
Nevada is currently the fifth-fastest-growing state in the United States. Between 2010 and 2023, Nevada’s population increased by 19.45%, and its 2023 rate of growth is an estimated 1.27%. The highest percentage of new Nevada residents migrated from California, followed by Texas, Arizona, and other western states. As is common in states undergoing a population boom, real estate rental and leasing became one of Nevada's fastest-growing industries.
Thanks to a population that grew by 19.25% from 2010 to 2023, Colorado is the state with the sixth-fastest percentage rate of growth in the US. The state shows few signs of slowing down, as the state's estimated growth rate for 2023 is 1.26%. Colorado is the eighth-largest state by area, but its population of 5,997,070 ranks as only the 20th-largest among states and its population density of 58 people per square mile (mi²) is among the lowest of any state.
(ineligible for ranking) District of Columbia
Although technically a federal district rather than a full state, the District of Columbia (commonly known as Washington DC) is treated like a state-equivalent by many federal agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau. The District of Columbia demonstrated a population increase of 18.97% from 2010 to 2023, with an estimated growth rate of 1.24% for 2023 alone.
Although the District of Colombia's permanent population (715,891 as of 2023) is dwarfed by the massive populations of California or Texas, it is larger than the populations of both Wyoming and Vermont, and will soon eclipse the population of Alaska if current growth trends in both states continue.
Not to be confused with the federal district Washington DC—but displaying a very similar rate of growth—the state of Washington's population grew by 18.96% between 2010 and 2023, expanding from 6,724,540 residents to approximately 7,999,503. Washington has no state income tax (except on capital gains) and is regarded as one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. thanks to its cascading mountains and national parks. Washington often ranks as having the best overall quality of life of any state because of strengths including a strong job market, a low poverty rate, and the overall health of the people who live there.
Florida was the eighth-fastest growing state in the U.S during the period from 2010 to 2023, posting a total population growth of 18.92% and an estimated 2023 growth percentage of 1.24%. During that time period, Florida surpassed New York as the third-largest state in terms of population, going from 18,801,310 residents in 2010 to 22,359,251 (and counting) in 2023. Florida has no state income tax—though, like most states with no income tax, other costs such as sales tax or property taxes may be higher. All told, however, the cost of living in Florida is often comparable to or lower than that of other East Coast states.
The state with the ninth-fastest growth from 2010 to 2023 is Arizona, whose population increased from 6,392,017 in 2010 to 7,379,346 (and counting) in 2023, a 15.45% increase in population. Arizona's 2023 population growth rate is projected to be 1.04%—which, given the state's population of approximately 7,379,346 at the start of 2023, should equal an increase of approximately 210 new residents per day.
Arizona's attractions include year-round warm weather, a good job market, natural attractions such as the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater, and a wide variety of entertainment options. Arizona is considered one of the states with the best weather in the US.
10. South Carolina
South Carolina's growth rate from 2010 to 2023 was 13.86%, the 10th-fastest of any state in the U.S. during that period. South Carolina's increase is due in large part to net migration. New residents are attracted to South Carolina's pleasing weather, with ample sunshine and mild winters, as well as the state's strong economy and generally affordable housing. South Carolina's population is projected to grow another 0.95% during 2023.
The 11th-highest population growth between 2010 and 2023 belonged to Oregon, whose population expanded by 13.78% and is projected to expand another 0.94% during 2023. Oregon is known for the rugged beauty of its natural areas, with expansive mountain ranges, lush greenery, and many rivers and waterfalls. Oregon is also one of only a handful of states that do not charge sales tax and one of only two states in which pumping your own gas is against the law.
The Southeastern state of Georgia's population swelled from 9,687,653 in 2010 to 11,019,186 by 2023, a 13.74% expansion that proved to be the 12th-highest in the US for that time period. Georgia is projected to grow at a rate of 0.94% during 2023, thanks in part to appealing qualities such as a vibrant job market, reasonable cost of living, and mild winter weather.