Fastest groing US states 2000-2006
The top ten fastest growing states for this period are located in the sunbelt and the Rockies. The soaring hispanic population is having an enormous impact on the country and has accounted for half of the population increase in the US during this period.
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Population growth brings political and economic benefits. Every ten years the US House of Representatives is reapportioned according to the decennial census. In general the fastest growing states gain additional representatives at the expense of states that are losing population. In addition, the fastest growing states tend to attract new industries and create the most new jobs which bolsters their economies.
Nevada ranked #1 in the US in the 1990s and continued with its astonishing influx of people in 2000 to 2006. The southern part of the state lies in the sunbelt and this is where most of the pop. increase is taking place. Nevada's hispanic minority is expanding very rapidly and is contributing 40% of the population increase in the state.
Las Vegas, the third fastest growing city in the country is #1 in both income and job growth. It has relatively mild winters and very hot summers. Its high cost of living hasn't slowed down the rapid immigration of job seekers and retirees, many of whom come from California. Reno is drawing a considerable number of new residents and is a cooler alternative to Las Vegas that lies farther to the north near the Sierra Nevada mountains and is close to various outdoor recreation activities.
Arizona, ranking #2, has a larger population than Nevada and its growth is just as impressive. Its surging hispanic community makes up half of Arizona's population increase.
Phoenix is the eighth fastest growing city in the country and like Las Vegas is creating a lot of new jobs. Its desert climate has mild winters and scorching summers. It is attracting job hunters, retirees and large numbers of hispanic immigrants from California, other western states and Latin America.
Arizona has two other small metro areas in the top ten in the nation, Lake Havasu City and Prescott, both of which are outdoor recreation minded cities and are retirement destinations. Tucson, Arizona lies to the east of Phoenix and has temperatures a few degrees cooler. Although it can't match Phoenix's population boom, it is still growing quite rapidly.
#3 Georgia has seen a tremendous population surge in recent years, even surpassing Florida in the east. Atlanta dominates the state of Georgia by far in its population growth and it has become the major regional hub in the southeastern US. Atlanta is very strong in job creation and people are moving there in droves, the majority of which are white and African american immigrants moving there for work or a place to retire. There are relatively few hispanics for a city of its size, but its hispanic population is expanding rapidly.
Utah, Idaho and Colorado
These three Rocky Mountain states come in at numbers 4, 5 and 8 and they have several things in common. Although they are not in the sunbelt, they do have nearby access to skiing and other outdoor recreational activities. They each have a high birth rate (Utah is number one in the nation), and a low death rate. Each has a growing hispanic population, especially in Colorado where its hispanics contribute half of the overall population increase in the state.
Salt Lake City continues to grow at a brisk pace, but the real story in Utah lies farther to the south. Provo, Utah is a top ten US metropolitan area in population growth, and St. George, Utah is #1 in the country during 2000-2006; it is a small warm weather city not far from Las Vegas and it is definitely feeling the regional population boom.
Idaho has never had a sizeable city until now, rapidly growing Boise City will be listed among the medium sized metropolitan areas in the 2010 census. Couer d'Alene, Idaho is a small city that is the northernmost of the fast population gainers in the country.
Denver's economy slowed down in the early part of the decade with the loss of telecommunications jobs, but it has now rebounded with solid job creation, and immigration from other states has helped it maintain its rapid population expansion. Other cities in Colorado growing similar to Denver are Colorado Springs, Boulder, Grand Junction and Fort Collins.
Florida, a long time favorite destination for retirees now faces stiff competition from other warm weather states that hope to attract these seniors for economic reasons. Florida is currently the sixth fastest growing state with large numbers of both hispanic and white immigrants.
Florida's largest city, Miami, which has seen decades of fast population increase has a higher than average cost of living and has now slowed down somewhat as people begin moving to smaller, more affordable cities in the region. The Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area and Jacksonville are accelerating in their ppopulation growth due to their strong job markets and affordability.
Orlando, the long time family oriented tourist destination is now experiencing tremendous growth because of its strong economy and reasonable cost of living, and has become a mecca for retirees in recent years. Other smaller Florida cities that are showing equally impressive growth are Cape Coral, Naples, Ocala, Port St. Lucy, Lakeland and Sarasota.
Texas, the 2nd most populous state in the country keeps moving forward in the seventh spot. Texas seems to have it all, ample growing room, a sunny climate and an impressive income to cost of living ratio in its major cities. Two thirds of its pop. increase is coming from its hispanic population, Dallas and Houston are attracting large numbers of hispanic immigrants.
Houston has exceptionally low housing costs for a city of its size coupled with a solid median income. It has also received the largest number of persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and it has been a real challenge trying to settle so many homeless people. Houston's long-time rival Dallas has a similar economy, but is currently somewhat slower in job creation, however it does have a slightly more temperate climate. Both of these cities are growing at a very rapid pace.
McAllen Texas is the 10th fastest growing city in the country and is over 80% hispanic. Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and Brownsville are also seeing a rapid increase in their number of residents.
Holding the ninth spot is North Carolina. Its population increase is coming from both white and black immigration--it is starting to become more popular as a retirement destination. Its hispanic population is relatively small, but it is expanding very rapidly. In the past North Carolina has been known as a state with a large rural population, but recently there has been a marked trend toward urbanization.
Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Wilmington are experiencing rapid growth. They each offer inexpensive housing and favorable median incomes, and they are creating plentiful jobs that are bringing in a lot of immigrants.
Delaware is #10 in the nation. It has been overlooked for a long time but it is now starting to be noticed. Wilmington and Dover are fairly small cities that have a reasonable cost of living by northeast standards. their minority populations are increasing rapidly, and a number of retirees have moved into Delaware recently.
US states ranked by population growth
|Rank||State||Population 2006||Population 2000||Percentage change|
|44||District of Columbia||581530||572059||1.66|
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