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NC population growth continues to outpace the nation

Crowds gathered along Fayetteville Street for the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival on Sept. 30 in downtown Raleigh.
Crowds gathered along Fayetteville Street for the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival on Sept. 30 in downtown Raleigh. hlynch@newsobserver.com

North Carolina remained the ninth most populous state in the country this year, still trailing Georgia at No. 8, according to the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

On July 1, an estimated 10,146,788 people lived in North Carolina, 111,602 more than the year before, according to estimates released Tuesday. The 1.1 percent growth rate made North Carolina the 12th fastest growing state in the country.

The state’s population has grown by more than 600,000, or 6.4 percent, since the last census in 2010. That growth puts North Carolina on track to pick up at least one more congressional seat after the 2020 census, at the expense of states like Ohio, Rhode Island and Illinois, which have grown little or none since 2010. The state has 13 seats in the U.S. House and just missed being apportioned a 14th after the 2010 census.

North Carolina kept pace with growth in Georgia, which added an estimated 110,973 residents in the year ending July 1 for a total of 10,310,371.

North Carolina’s population increase in the past year outpaced the national growth rate of .7 percent. The census bureau estimates that 323.1 million people lived in the U.S. on July 1.

Eight states lost population in the past year, led by West Virginia where the number of residents declined by .54 percent. Utah was the fastest growing state, at 2 percent.

“States in the South and West continued to lead in population growth,” Ben Bolender, chief of the Population Estimates Branch, said in a statement. “In 2016, 37.9 percent of the nation’s population lived in the South, and 23.7 percent lived in the West.”

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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