Dec. 21 (UPI) — The fastest-growing state in the country is Idaho, as its population increased 2.2 percent in one year, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday.
Idaho’s growth between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017 led the top six fastest-growing states, which include Nevada (2.0 percent), Utah (1.9 percent) and Washington (1.7 percent), with Florida and Arizona tied at 1.6 percent, according to Census Bureau statistics.
Luke Rogers, Chief of the Population Estimates Branch, said domestic migration was the main catalyst for population growth in Idaho and Nevada, while Utah grew because of an excess of births over deaths.
Derek Santos, economist for Idaho’s Division of Financial Management, told ABC News that the state’s economy is why people are moving there.
“Nearly two-thirds of the 2017 population growth was due to domestic net migration. This showing reflects the draw of Idaho’s strong economy and low cost of living,” Santos said.
Across the country, the population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017 to to 325.7 million, amounting to a 0.72 percent increase.
Immigration decreased during that time by 1.8 percent, which was the first drop since between 2012 and 2013.
“However, net international migration continues to be a significant factor in the population growth of the United States, adding just over 1.1 million people in the last year,” the Census Bureau said.
Regionally, states in the South and West continued led in population growth. Each of the top ten states leading the country in largest numerical growth were all in those two regions, including Texas (399,734), Florida (327,811), California (240,177), Washington (124,809) and North Carolina (116,730) in the top five.
This year, 38 percent of the nation’s population lives in the South and 23.8 percent lives in the West.