It stands to reason that a place like North Dakota, with its surging oil industry and 3 percent unemployment, would rank among the quickest growing states in the country.
But Nevada, land of 12 percent joblessness and a busted housing market? Turns out it's right at the top of the list too.
This week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest round of state by state population estimates, tracking changes between July of 2011 and July of 2012. It's hard to find a single thread that connects all the fastest growing parts of the country, but there are a few distinct themes that emerge. One of the most interesting: It's not necessarily the unemployment rate that counts when it comes to attracting new residents.
This first chart lists the 10 quickest growing states, measured by year-over-year percentage increase in population (it includes Washington, DC because, Congressional representation or not, the District's got more residents than either Vermont or Wyoming). The states with the largest total population gains are less interesting; they're mostly just the biggest states outside the rust belt: Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, Virginia, Washington, Colorado, and New York. Colorado, by far the smallest of that bunch, punched a bit above its weight in terms of growth, while New York punched below.
But let's keep our attention on the 10 fastest growers. One thing most of them have in common: people are moving to them from elsewhere in the country. Nine are among the top 10 in domestic net migration -- or, the number of new residents per 1000 people already living there. The only exception is Utah, which has a unique dynamic we'll discuss in a bit.
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This post was modified from its original form on 23 Dec, 4:07
First, notice how many are Red States which is interesting. Then consider a few other things: Wyoming is now a potential for oil production, Texas is an oil producer. North and South Dakota are tied into the Keystone Pipeline and even though the 4th tier is not up yet, the others are. There are some necessary job producers in Utah (salt mining and copper mining as well as petroleum). Nevada will always be somewhat attractive due to the gambling industry which does employ a lot of people. Another factor would be location. All those states on either coast will show some potential if for no other reason military and shipping ports (Virginia and Washington State being high on he list). I probably did not hit the mark here, just some ideas.