What States Are Losing & Gaining Population The Fastest?

map of states losing and gaining population

Based on data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida and Idaho have emerged as the swiftest expanding states in the United States. Their populations recorded growth rates of 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, during the period spanning from July 2021 to June 2022. This growth propelled Florida's population to 22.2 million and Idaho's to 1.9 million.

Following closely behind are South Carolina, Texas, and South Dakota. Texas's population growth is attributed to a combination of high birth rates and substantial national and international migration. In contrast, Idaho, South Carolina, and South Dakota have experienced population increases primarily due to domestic migration. In Florida, which faces a substantial deficit in net births, the role of international migration has been even more pivotal in its population growth.

As detailed by Statista's Katharina Buchholz, the pandemic has spurred a shift in population trends, with more states witnessing population declines due to excess deaths and new patterns of out-migration.

Between 2021 and 2022, 18 U.S. states saw population declines, with some experiencing only marginal reductions. This marked an increase from ten states between 2018 and 2019.

While states in the Western and Southern regions had been alluring to new residents before the pandemic due to their low cost of living, favorable tax rates, and affordable housing, coastal states witnessed a migration of white-collar workers seeking more affordable living arrangements enabled by remote work arrangements. Additionally, the comparatively relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in red states in the South and West also motivated some relocations.

Even prior to the pandemic, New York had been grappling with population decline, primarily driven by decreased immigration compensating for people leaving the state.

During the pandemic, this trend further intensified, resulting in a population deficit of -0.9 percent (previously -0.4 percent).

While populous states like California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio experienced population declines amid the pandemic, the American South and West saw increased population growth.

Texas, which previously recorded a growth rate of 1.3 percent, saw its population expand by 1.6 percent, while Florida's growth rate escalated from 1.1 percent to 1.9 percent.

In the Western region, Montana (with growth increasing from 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent) and South Dakota (rising from 0.7 percent to 1.5 percent) emerged as the winners in terms of population growth.