How does the country grow?

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How does the country grow?

How does the country grow?

Behind the Numbers, June 2014

The United States continues to grow through a combination of natural increase and positive net international migration. However, growth among the states is further differentiated by trends in domestic migration.

Due to a combination of relatively high birthrates and international net migration rates, the US population is growing slightly faster than the average for the industrialized nations in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Although some countries in the group of industrialized nations are growing much faster than the OECD average and the United States (e.g., Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom), populations of other countries (e.g., Germany, Italy, and Japan) are actually flat or declining.1 Positive population growth may confer a variety of benefits, such as allowing a country to maintain a healthier balance between the number of workers and the number of retirees.

Looking within the United States, at its regions and states, there is substantial variation in the degree to which areas are growing due to natural increase (births minus deaths) and international migration. Furthermore, there is another aspect to population change that shapes the internal distribution of the US population: domestic migration—the movement of people between regions and states. There are many different reasons for internal shifts: changes in employment trends, retirement relocations, and the myriad consequences of these types of moves, particularly for local and state governments as they adjust revenue and spending to reflect the changing realities of their population profiles.2 This post provides a statistical overview of the sources of population change that shaped the population profiles of US regions and states as they emerge from the depths of the Great Recession.

Overview

Between 2010 and 2013, the US population grew by 7.4 million people or 2.4 percent, with almost two-thirds of the change coming from natural increase and the remainder coming from positive net international migration. The additional factor that comes into play when considering the population change of regions and states is domestic migration. As shown in table 1, while there are differences between the natural rates of change stemming from different age distributions of the resident populations of the various regions of the United States, there are also substantial and sometimes offsetting contributions from the two migration categories. Specifically, while the Northeast had the largest proportional gain from international migration, the Northeast and Midwest regions lost sizable population as people relocated to the South and West between 2010 and 2013. This negative net domestic migration contributed to the population of these two regions growing more slowly than the country as a whole.

Table 1: Cumulative estimates of the components of US population change

April 1, 2010–June 1, 2013

Total cumulative change Natural Vital events Net migration
Births Deaths Total Int’l Domestic 2010 Population (April 1) 2013 Population (June 1)
United States 7,381,123 4,707,508 12,867,530 8,160,022 2,673,615 2,673,615 (X) 308,745,538 316,128,839
Northeast region 625,812 568,202 2,086,367 1,518,165 86,994 711,505 -624,511 55,317,240 55,943,073
Midwest region 620,341 826,143 2,703,481 1,877,338 -194,864 350,883 -545,747 66,927,001 67,547,890
South region 3,826,180 1,765,813 4,908,455 3,142,642 2,026,010 990,043 1,035,967 114,555,744 118,383,453
West region 2,308,790 1,547,350 3,169,227 1,621,877 755,475 621,184 134,291 71,945,553 74,254,423
Change as a percent of 2010 population
United States 2.40% 1.50% 4.20% 2.60% 0.90% 0.90%
Northeast region 1.10% 1.00% 3.80% 2.70% 0.20% 1.30% -1.10%
Midwest region 0.90% 1.20% 4.00% 2.80% -0.30% 0.50% -0.80%
South region 3.30% 1.50% 4.30% 2.70% 1.80% 0.90% 0.90%
West region 3.20% 2.20% 4.40% 2.30% 1.10% 0.90% 0.20%

Source: US Bureau of the Census3

Northeast region

The Northeast is home to the only two states that lost population between 2010 and 2014, Maine and Rhode Island, and all states in this region had negative net domestic migration during this period. Massachusetts was the fastest growing state in the region, with population growth near the US average (2.2 percent to the national growth rate of 2.4 percent) as higher-than-average international migration was able to offset lower-than-average natural increases and a small negative net domestic migration. In the case of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, international migration provided almost exact offsets for the negative net domestic migration (see table 2).

Table 2: Cumulative estimates of the components of state population change in the Northeast region

April 1, 2010–June 1, 2013

Total cumulative change Natural Vital events Net migration
Births Deaths Total Int’l Domestic 2010 Population (April 1) 2013 Population (June 1)
Northeast region 625,812 568,202 2,086,367 1,518,165 86,994 711,505 -624,511 55,317,240 55,943,073
Connecticut 21,983 26,522 121,106 94,584 -1,314 49,186 -50,500 3,574,097 3,596,080
Maine -59 -725 41,079 41,804 555 3,351 -2,796 1,328,361 1,328,302
Massachusetts 145,195 63,577 237,323 173,746 84,872 98,131 -13,259 6,547,629 6,692,824
New Hampshire 6,990 7,347 41,529 34,182 -135 5,631 -5,766 1,316,470 1,323,459
New Jersey 107,430 114,688 343,341 228,653 -2,776 145,374 -148,150 8,791,894 8,899,339
New York 273,022 296,542 782,989 486,447 -10,406 318,132 -328,538 19,378,102 19,651,127
Pennsylvania 71,422 52,931 463,777 410,846 23,376 78,567 -55,191 12,702,379 12,773,801
Rhode Island -1,056 4,753 35,614 30,861 -5,672 11,659 -17,331 1,052,567 1,051,511
Vermont 885 2,567 19,609 17,042 -1,506 1,474 -2,980 625,741 626,630
Change as a percent of 2010 population
Northeast region 1.10% 1.00% 3.80% 2.70% 0.20% 1.30% -1.10%
Connecticut 0.60% 0.70% 3.40% 2.60% 0.00% 1.40% -1.40%
Maine 0.00% -0.10% 3.10% 3.10% 0.00% 0.30% -0.20%
Massachusetts 2.20% 1.00% 3.60% 2.70% 1.30% 1.50% -0.20%
New Hampshire 0.50% 0.60% 3.20% 2.60% 0.00% 0.40% -0.40%
New Jersey 1.20% 1.30% 3.90% 2.60% 0.00% 1.70% -1.70%
New York 1.40% 1.50% 4.00% 2.50% -0.10% 1.60% -1.70%
Pennsylvania 0.60% 0.40% 3.70% 3.20% 0.20% 0.60% -0.40%
Rhode Island -0.10% 0.50% 3.40% 2.90% -0.50% 1.10% -1.60%
Vermont 0.10% 0.40% 3.10% 2.70% -0.20% 0.20% -0.50%

Source: US Bureau of the Census

Midwest region

The slowest growing of all the regions, the Midwest, does contain two states that are among the fastest growing in the country: North and South Dakota (see table 3). These are also two states with substantial net domestic migration. No state in this region attracts significant international migration relative to population size, and except for the two states noted above, all other states in this region have negative net domestic migration.

Table 3: Cumulative estimates of the components of state population change in the Midwest region

April 1, 2010–June 1, 2013

Total cumulative change Natural Vital events Net migration
Births Deaths Total Int’l Domestic 2010 Population (April 1) 2013 Population (June 1)
Midwest region 620,341 826,143 2,703,481 1,877,338 -194,864 350,883 -545,747 66,927,001 67,547,890
Illinois 51,503 193,378 522,582 329,204 -137,318 87,386 -224,704 12,830,632 12,882,135
Indiana 87,105 85,115 270,980 185,865 3,642 30,010 -26,368 6,483,802 6,570,902
Iowa 43,559 34,438 124,024 89,586 9,581 13,282 -3,701 3,046,355 3,090,416
Kansas 40,841 50,974 129,453 78,479 -10,197 16,752 -26,949 2,853,118 2,893,957
Michigan 11,921 80,156 368,960 288,804 -68,491 55,145 -123,636 9,883,640 9,895,622
Minnesota 116,455 95,068 221,965 126,897 21,469 38,525 -17,056 5,303,925 5,420,380
Missouri 55,248 67,751 246,651 178,900 -11,701 23,960 -35,661 5,988,927 6,044,171
Nebraska 42,175 35,584 83,616 48,032 7,322 10,357 -3,035 1,826,341 1,868,516
North Dakota 50,802 12,271 31,187 18,916 38,223 3,602 34,621 672,591 723,393
Ohio 34,305 90,037 446,255 356,218 -52,638 49,792 -102,430 11,536,504 11,570,808
South Dakota 30,697 15,838 38,555 22,717 14,960 3,404 11,556 814,180 844,877
Wisconsin 55,730 65,533 219,253 153,720 -9,716 18,668 -28,384 5,686,986 5,742,713
Change as a percent of 2010 population
Midwest region 0.90% 1.20% 4.00% 2.80% -0.30% 0.50% -0.80%
Illinois 0.40% 1.50% 4.10% 2.60% -1.10% 0.70% -1.80%
Indiana 1.30% 1.30% 4.20% 2.90% 0.10% 0.50% -0.40%
Iowa 1.40% 1.10% 4.10% 2.90% 0.30% 0.40% -0.10%
Kansas 1.40% 1.80% 4.50% 2.80% -0.40% 0.60% -0.90%
Michigan 0.10% 0.80% 3.70% 2.90% -0.70% 0.60% -1.30%
Minnesota 2.20% 1.80% 4.20% 2.40% 0.40% 0.70% -0.30%
Missouri 0.90% 1.10% 4.10% 3.00% -0.20% 0.40% -0.60%
Nebraska 2.30% 1.90% 4.60% 2.60% 0.40% 0.60% -0.20%
North Dakota 7.60% 1.80% 4.60% 2.80% 5.70% 0.50% 5.10%
Ohio 0.30% 0.80% 3.90% 3.10% -0.50% 0.40% -0.90%
South Dakota 3.80% 1.90% 4.70% 2.80% 1.80% 0.40% 1.40%
Wisconsin 1.00% 1.20% 3.90% 2.70% -0.20% 0.30% -0.50%

Source: US Bureau of the Census

South region

The South barely beat out the West as the fastest-growing region of the country in terms of population between 2010 and 2013. Among the fastest growing are the District of Columbia, Florida, and Texas, and each of these benefited from substantial domestic migration (see table 4). Florida also had a relatively high rate of international migration, as did Maryland and Virginia. The District of Columbia and Texas also benefited from high rates of natural increase. West Virginia is the only state other than Maine where deaths exceeded births between 2010 and 2013. The only states in the South with negative net domestic migration were Kentucky, Maryland, and Mississippi.

Table 4: Cumulative estimates of the components of state population change in the South region

April 1, 2010–June 1, 2013

Total cumulative change Natural Vital events Net migration
Births Deaths Total Int’l Domestic 2010 Population (April 1) 2013 Population (June 1)
South region 3,826,180 1,765,813 4,908,455 3,142,642 2,026,010 990,043 1,035,967 114,555,744 118,383,453
Alabama 53,964 35,848 192,880 157,032 17,425 17,345 80 4,779,736 4,833,722
Arkansas 43,457 31,262 125,153 93,891 12,703 9,617 3,086 2,915,918 2,959,373
Delaware 27,813 11,032 36,651 25,619 16,919 7,717 9,202 897,934 925,749
District of Columbia 44,682 14,595 30,509 15,914 29,957 8,984 20,973 601,723 646,449
Florida 750,170 121,075 697,507 576,432 618,974 310,822 308,152 18,801,310 19,552,860
Georgia 304,504 197,541 431,440 233,899 100,318 72,269 28,049 9,687,653 9,992,167
Kentucky 55,938 42,283 178,854 136,571 14,367 18,342 -3,975 4,339,367 4,395,295
Louisiana 92,098 68,030 201,132 133,102 24,263 21,772 2,491 4,533,372 4,625,470
Maryland 155,191 92,207 237,890 145,683 63,882 78,498 -14,616 5,773,552 5,928,814
Mississippi 23,908 35,682 129,036 93,354 -12,015 7,448 -19,463 2,967,297 2,991,207
North Carolina 312,589 131,753 392,193 260,440 174,584 67,302 107,282 9,535,483 9,848,060
Oklahoma 99,211 50,556 170,749 120,193 47,198 15,866 31,332 3,751,351 3,850,568
South Carolina 149,479 50,194 187,168 136,974 96,655 21,730 74,925 4,625,364 4,774,839
Tennessee 149,865 63,809 258,550 194,741 85,498 26,507 58,991 6,346,105 6,495,978
Texas 1,302,632 684,632 1,238,002 553,370 610,692 207,102 403,590 25,145,561 26,448,193
Virginia 259,374 138,401 334,232 195,831 119,680 95,545 24,135 8,001,024 8,260,405
West Virginia 1,305 -3,087 66,509 69,596 4,910 3,177 1,733 1,852,994 1,854,304
Change as a percent of 2010 population
South Region 3.30% 1.50% 4.30% 2.70% 1.80% 0.90% 0.90%
Alabama 1.10% 0.70% 4.00% 3.30% 0.40% 0.40% 0.00%
Arkansas 1.50% 1.10% 4.30% 3.20% 0.40% 0.30% 0.10%
Delaware 3.10% 1.20% 4.10% 2.90% 1.90% 0.90% 1.00%
District of Columbia 7.40% 2.40% 5.10% 2.60% 5.00% 1.50% 3.50%
Florida 4.00% 0.60% 3.70% 3.10% 3.30% 1.70% 1.60%
Georgia 3.10% 2.00% 4.50% 2.40% 1.00% 0.70% 0.30%
Kentucky 1.30% 1.00% 4.10% 3.10% 0.30% 0.40% -0.10%
Louisiana 2.00% 1.50% 4.40% 2.90% 0.50% 0.50% 0.10%
Maryland 2.70% 1.60% 4.10% 2.50% 1.10% 1.40% -0.30%
Mississippi 0.80% 1.20% 4.30% 3.10% -0.40% 0.30% -0.70%
North Carolina 3.30% 1.40% 4.10% 2.70% 1.80% 0.70% 1.10%
Oklahoma 2.60% 1.30% 4.60% 3.20% 1.30% 0.40% 0.80%
South Carolina 3.20% 1.10% 4.00% 3.00% 2.10% 0.50% 1.60%
Tennessee 2.40% 1.00% 4.10% 3.10% 1.30% 0.40% 0.90%
Texas 5.20% 2.70% 4.90% 2.20% 2.40% 0.80% 1.60%
Virginia 3.20% 1.70% 4.20% 2.40% 1.50% 1.20% 0.30%
West Virginia 0.10% -0.20% 3.60% 3.80% 0.30% 0.20% 0.10%

Source: US Bureau of the Census

West region

With population growth only slightly slower than the South, the West is home to the most populous state in the country, California. All states in the West grew faster than the nation on average except for New Mexico. Utah had the country’s highest proportional increase in population due to births, and with a relatively low numbers of deaths, it had the largest proportional gain due to natural increase (see table 5). The largest gainers from international migration on a proportional basis were California, Hawaii, and Washington. States losing population as a result of negative net domestic migration were Alaska, California, Hawaii, and New Mexico.

Table 5: Cumulative estimates of the components of state population change in the West region

April 1, 2010–June 1, 2013

Total cumulative change Natural Vital events Net migration
Births Deaths Total Int’l Domestic 2010 Population (April 1) 2013 Population (June 1)
West region 2,308,790 1,547,350 3,169,227 1,621,877 755,475 621,184 134,291 71,945,553 74,254,423
Alaska 24,901 24,745 37,432 12,687 387 5,963 -5,576 710,231 735,132
Arizona 234,609 121,237 280,500 159,263 109,506 34,802 74,704 6,392,017 6,626,624
California 1,078,562 847,471 1,639,896 792,425 235,315 389,166 -153,851 37,253,956 38,332,521
Colorado 239,171 107,466 213,310 105,844 127,485 27,533 99,952 5,029,196 5,268,367
Hawaii 43,753 26,544 61,617 35,073 17,517 23,621 -6,104 1,360,301 1,404,054
Idaho 44,484 35,873 72,866 36,993 8,631 5,062 3,569 1,567,582 1,612,136
Montana 25,748 10,260 39,217 28,957 15,200 2,374 12,826 989,415 1,015,165
Nevada 89,584 48,515 115,278 66,763 40,356 23,372 16,984 2,700,551 2,790,136
New Mexico 26,104 36,121 88,993 52,872 -9,750 5,837 -15,587 2,059,179 2,085,287
Oregon 98,992 41,212 146,600 105,388 56,636 20,269 36,367 3,831,074 3,930,065
Utah 136,987 117,951 166,447 48,496 18,957 13,966 4,991 2,763,885 2,900,872
Washington 246,863 120,067 282,772 162,705 126,307 68,105 58,202 6,724,540 6,971,406
Wyoming 19,032 9,888 24,299 14,411 8,928 1,114 7,814 563,626 582,658
Change as a percent of 2010 population
West Region 3.20% 2.20% 4.40% 2.30% 1.10% 0.90% 0.20%
Alaska 3.50% 3.50% 5.30% 1.80% 0.10% 0.80% -0.80%
Arizona 3.70% 1.90% 4.40% 2.50% 1.70% 0.50% 1.20%
California 2.90% 2.30% 4.40% 2.10% 0.60% 1.00% -0.40%
Colorado 4.80% 2.10% 4.20% 2.10% 2.50% 0.50% 2.00%
Hawaii 3.20% 2.00% 4.50% 2.60% 1.30% 1.70% -0.40%
Idaho 2.80% 2.30% 4.60% 2.40% 0.60% 0.30% 0.20%
Montana 2.60% 1.00% 4.00% 2.90% 1.50% 0.20% 1.30%
Nevada 3.30% 1.80% 4.30% 2.50% 1.50% 0.90% 0.60%
New Mexico 1.30% 1.80% 4.30% 2.60% -0.50% 0.30% -0.80%
Oregon 2.60% 1.10% 3.80% 2.80% 1.50% 0.50% 0.90%
Utah 5.00% 4.30% 6.00% 1.80% 0.70% 0.50% 0.20%
Washington 3.70% 1.80% 4.20% 2.40% 1.90% 1.00% 0.90%
Wyoming 3.40% 1.80% 4.30% 2.60% 1.60% 0.20% 1.40%

Source: US Bureau of the Census

Endnotes

View all endnotes
  1. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD Factbook 2014: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, OECD Publishing, May 6, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/factbook-2014-en.
  2. For a discussion of how three employment trends—mining, construction, and manufacturing—are impacting job growth across the states, please see “Geography of Jobs,” which is forthcoming from Deloitte University Press.
  3. The full citation for the data used in all the tables: US Bureau of the Census, “Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013,” December 2013; and “Estimates of the Components of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010–July 1, 2013,” January 2014, http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/totals/2013/.

About The Author

Dr. Patricia Buckley

Dr. Patricia Buckley is director of Economic Policy and Analysis at Deloitte Research, Deloitte Services LP.

How does the country grow?
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