NC is the 12th fastest-growing state. Here’s why our size matters.

North Carolina remained the 9th most populous state this year, keeping pace with No. 8 Georgia and putting more distance between it and No. 10 Michigan, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

As of July 1, an estimated 10,273,419 people lived in North Carolina, nearly 117,000 more than the previous year. The growth rate of 1.1 percent made North Carolina the 12th fastest growing state, just behind South Carolina and ahead of Montana.

North Carolina added another 116,730 people in the last year – close to the entire population of Wilmington.

The U.S. Census released national and state population estimates on Wednesday, which included a ranking of the fastest growing states.

Idaho was the fastest growing state during the year, at 2.2 percent, followed by Nevada, Utah, Washington and Florida.

Since 2010, the Census Bureau estimates that the state’s population has grown by nearly 738,000, or 7.7 percent, the equivalent of adding the cities of Durham and Raleigh in seven years. Georgia has added a similar number of residents, to remain larger than North Carolina by about 156,000.

North Carolina’s growth puts it on track to pick up at least one more congressional seat after the 2020 census, at the expense of states such as 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.

The state’s rate of growth last year outpaced the nation, which grew .72 percent to 325.7 million.

From July 2016 to July 2017, North Carolina saw:

▪ 120,525 births

▪ 90,129 deaths

▪ 20,162 net international migration to the state

▪ 66,051 net domestic migration to the state

Eight states, including West Virginia, Mississippi and Louisiana, lost population in the year ending July 1, 2017. Three states that had lost population the previous year – Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Vermont – saw slight increases.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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