December 23rd, 2009
08:45 AM ET
4 years ago

Don't mess with Texas: More Americans moving in

Texas and Wyoming were the big winners in the Census Bureau's annual population estimates, which were released on Wednesday.

Texas and Wyoming were the big winners in the Census Bureau's annual population estimates, which were released on Wednesday.

New York ( - Americans, it seems, still have a love affair with the West.

Texas and Wyoming were the big winners in the Census Bureau's annual population estimates, which were released on Wednesday.

In the year ended July 1, Texas added more people than any other state, and Wyoming had the highest growth rate in the nation.

The population of the United States has grown more than 9% to 307,006,550 since the 2000 census. The population grew 0.86% since last year's estimates.

Just three states shrank during the year. Michigan's population fell by 0.33%, Maine dropped 0.11%, and Rhode Island lost 0.03%.

The report is a kind of sneak preview of the next big 10-year census, which will be released in December 2010.

The 10-year census determines congressional representation and federal aid, among other things.

"The census counts will not only determine how many U.S. House seats each state will have but will also be used as the benchmark for future population estimates," said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves.

In Nevada, for example, the population has risen 32.27% since the 2000 Census, more than any other state in the past decade. Nevada currently has three seats in the House and will almost certainly pick up another as a result of its population growth.

On the other hand, large states that are growing slowly such as Ohio (1.67%), Pennsylvania (2.64%), New York (2.98%) and Michigan (3.13%) could lose at least one seat each.

The future of the so-called Sand States – California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida – is still in question, though. The rapid rise of many of these states through the early part of the decade has been curtailed by the housing crisis.

In Florida, which averaged about 2% a year in population growth from 2001 through 2005, residential numbers inched up only 0.62% during the 12 months ended July 1. In the previous 12 months, the state recorded only a 0.71% gain.

A similar dynamic played out in Nevada. Its average population increase
was 3.6% per year in the five years through 2005, but it grew only 1% this time. And the growth was due to the birth rate, not people actually moving in.

Both Nevada and Florida actually had more people leave the states than arrive.

Many communities in these bubble states now have long lists of homes for sale. New construction has slowed, idling workers and hurting local economies.

Some of the once-booming cities in the Central Valley of California, such as Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Merced and Visalia, are now plagued by job losses. Seven out of the 10 metro areas with the highest unemployment rates are in California.

Other Sun Belt states have fared much better. Texas, for example, never went through the boom-and-bust housing cycle that devastated the Sand States.

Home prices remained affordable, and the state's unemployment rate was 8% in October, a full two percentage points below the national average.

So, it's no surprise that Texas added more than 3.9 million residents during the 2000s. Its population also grew by the greatest number of people (478,000) during the 12 months ended July 1. California was second with 381,000 followed by North Carolina with 134,000.

Wyoming boasted the fastest growth rate for the 12-month period: 2.12% to a total of 544,270. The Cowboy State was followed by Utah (2.1%), Texas (1.97%) and Colorado (1.81%).

Filed under: Census
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Everyone is leaving the welfare states of the northeast and midwest and coming to Texas where the governent still respects the individual.

    Texas should break away from Obamaville and start fresh.

    December 23, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. Pelosi's a see-you-en-tea

    Ironic, the states listed as increasing in population are red, and the states decreasing blue. Guess that tells you which type of govt people would rather be governed by.
    BTW, has anybody else been wondering how Verizon already knows what the results of the next presidential election will look like? I keep seeing those commercials that show how much of the country will be red or blue on the TV.

    December 23, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. Terry from West Texas

    The human race is breeding like ferrets. There is no more room in Texas for newcomers. There are still plenty of wide open spaces that have no water, no electricity, and no streets, but no more room for humans.

    Our infrastructure is overburdened. Traffic is horrible in all of Texas' major cities. Texans are phobic when it comes to taxation and will not authorize payment for the development we need to sustain the existing population, much less a bunch of newcomers.

    Texas is not unique in this way. Most states are the same. The quality of life in the US will ineveitably deteriorate as the next few years go by. Everyone's goal now is to be in the dwindling group of people who can sustain the comfortable upper-middle class life that we all aspire to. Most of us won't make it.

    Oh well, we're past the point of no return anyway, so there's no reason to worry about it now.

    December 23, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Anne of Medford, NJ

    Can I point out something obvious for Texas- a little thing called Katrina. This rise may be attributed to all those displaced with no where to return. Simple stats don't work people- go behind the numbers.

    December 23, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. cjl

    Essentially because people want to move as far away from liberal and ultra-domestic yuppie havens as possible. I'm considering it. ha.

    December 23, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. southerncousin

    Hopefully, our good friends in Texas, who have the largest representation of TEA parties in the country, will be able to flex their growing political muscle to get rid of Obama and his obomabots in in Congress.

    December 23, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. ran

    One big reason: no state income tax.

    December 23, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    It's a great State except for all those wind farms popping up across West Texas.

    December 23, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Texas Firefighter

    Welcome to Texas but leave your yankee attitudes, and east/west coast liberalism behind. We don't believe in socialism, but rugged individualism. Work hard, pay your taxes, respect your neighbors, volunteer to help others, and become good citizens. We've always prided ourselves on these values and welcomed others who share the same; as the example we set during Hurricane Katrina.

    December 23, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Carlos

    Best place to live by far.

    December 23, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Dont miss out on Texas it's a great place to live and Rick Perry is the best in the west I hope he runs for president next term .

    December 23, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Silence Dogoode

    Utah, Colorado and Wyoming are beautiful. The people are nice. Haven't been to Texas, but it is such a vast state you could find just about any kind of it...urban it.... farm or it...

    December 23, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. FartSean

    They move for the low taxes. Let us hope that the services aren't stretched too thin and the Federal gov't has to bail them out.

    December 23, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Mark

    People just want to be closer to George W.

    December 23, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. katiec

    Sure hope some of these people included Democrats in hope that somehow sanity, country first will be brought back to their politics.

    December 23, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Rafael

    Texas is the best state in the country! Good governor that cares for the people and individualism. Go Perry Go!

    December 23, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Robin

    Texas has a very strong economy and in October and November, the state has added 70,000 jobs.

    December 23, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. RichP the Pocono's

    Texas is the only state that can survive on it's own without the other 49 states and especially DC. It might be good place to be if they can keep the progressive liberals out.

    December 23, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. AR

    More Texas= More Republicans. I've been thinkin about heading out there myself. My family didn't flee Europe to wallow away in an ever-expanding Federal Bureaucracy. Texas is where the American spirit remains.

    December 23, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Go to Wyoming. People still appear to have good sense in Wyoming. Isn't Texas filing secession papers as we speak along with Alaska??
    Yup, Wyoming is the better choice.

    December 23, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. demmie2

    if this administration keeps it up texas will get even more people when they choose to leave the union

    December 23, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    Great news! If more Americans move to Texas, there is hope that the state will become more diverse and tolerant. Maybe the election of a gay mayor in Houston is a sign of changes to come. Hopefully Texas will be more competitive in the next presidential elections. Will be good to see Texas become a blue state.

    December 23, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. A Jaundiced Eye

    Texas has no state income tax and the State Government of Texas is pro-business.
    States like NY and California penalize business with punitive high taxes. The NY State income tax for incomes over $1mm will go over 10%. Why in the world would a business man or woman invest in a NY business location, to face high utility costs and regulation out the gazoo and be represented by Mr. Never met a tax he did'nt like Sen. Charles Schumer and Gov. Patterson? and the reward for this investment and effort in this NY business environment is ? the investors are penalized with a NY tax bill of 10% on income. Vs Zero in Texas. Investors follow maximum yeilds on money and create jobs. People follow jobs. Low taxes equals more jobs.It's that simple

    December 23, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. David in Texas

    Did anyone notice that neither Wyoming or Texas have state income taxes. We pay enough taxes is what this reflects!!!!

    December 23, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Democrats are Socialists

    yeah texas.

    won{t be long before we leave the union after the DUMocRATS ruin the country.

    How do you call it a HC reform bill when a lot of people have to pay more in taxes or give us medicare benefits

    December 23, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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