Nevada Fastest-Growing State, Census Data Shows

Nevada Fastest-Growing State, Census Data Shows

The five largest states in the country now are California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois.

Overall, the West grew faster last year than the other three-quarters of the country, the South, Midwest and Northeast. Led by Nevada, which grew by 3.8 percent last year, the population of the Western states jumped 1.5 percent.

Nationally, population growth averaged 0.9 percent last year, rising to 272 million from 270 million.

Two states, Texas and Florida, have reached what the Census Bureau called population milestones. Texas added more than 330,000 people this year, pushing its population above 20 million for the first time.

Florida now counts more than 15 million residents, a "substantial" increase over the past four decades. "As recently as 1950, Florida had fewer than 3 million people," demographer Marc Perry said in a press release.California remains the most populous state, with 33 million people, followed by Texas, then New York, which counts 18 million.

The West led the other regions in enticing people from other states. Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado lured the largest percentage of newcomers from elsewhere in the country. Immigrants from abroad tended to pick California, New York and Washington, D.C.

Five states and the District of Columbia lost people in 1999: Hawaii, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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