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Daily Real Estate News  |  December 28, 2006  |   Arizona Tops List as Fastest-Growing State
Nevada’s 19-year tenure as the country’s fastest-growing state ended in 2006 as Arizona edged out the Silver State by just one-tenth of a percentage point.

From July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, Arizona’s population increased by 3.6 percent compared with 3.5 percent for Nevada, according to recent U. S. Census Bureau data.

Population gains in the West and South continued to outpace other regions, reflecting the ongoing influx to these regions. The South now accounts for 36 percent of the country’s total population, gaining 1.4 percent or 1.5 million people in the 2005-2006 time frame. The West, which comprises 23 percent of the U. S. population, grew by 1.5 percent, adding 1 million residents.

By contrast, the Midwest, which accounts for 22 percent of the nation’s overall population, added 281,000 people. The Northeast only added 0.1 percent or 62,000 people, and now accounts for only 18 percent of the overall population.

By the Numbers

California remains the most populous state with a population of 36.5 million. Following California, the states with the largest populations are Texas (23.5 million), New York (19.3 million), Florida (18.1 million), and Illinois (12.8 million).

In terms of actual population numbers, the top states for growth stack up a little differently. Arizona ranked first for the highest percentage growth rate, but it was fifth in terms of the actual number of new residents.

Louisiana’s population on July 1, 2006, was down 220,000 from a year earlier. The state lost nearly 5 percent of its pre-Katrina population.

Top 10 Highest Percentage Growth Rate
1. Arizona: 3.6%
2. Nevada: 3.5%
3. Idaho: 2.6%
4. Georgia: 2.5%
5. Texas: 2.5%
6. Utah: 2.4%
7. North Carolina: 2.1%
8. Colorado: 1.9%
9. Florida: 1.8%
10. South Carolina: 1.7%

Top 10 Actual Population Growth
1. Texas: 579,275
2. Florida: 321,697
3.California: 303,402
4. Georgia: 231,388
5. Arizona: 213,311
6. North Carolina: 184,046
7. Washington: 103,899
8. Colorado: 90,082
9. Nevada: 83,228
10. Tennessee: 83,058

By Camilla McLaughlin for REALTORŪ Magazine Online

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