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2002 State Population Estimates
Part 1: States Ranked by Population
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by Matt Rosenberg
January 12, 2003

In late December, the U.S. Census Bureau released their July 1, 2002 population estimates for the fifty states. With this recent data, we can examine states' growth (or decline) since the 2000 Census. Since Census 2000, the United States as a whole grew by 3,051,139 people for a July 1, 2002 estimate of 288,368,698.

Many southern and southwestern states exhibited significant growth from 2000 to 2002 - California, Texas, and Florida led in overall numerical population growth but Nevada had the highest percentage growth. Nevada's population increased a whopping 8.8% in two years! Following Nevada were Arizona with a 6.4% increase and Colorado with a 4.8% increase. Florida and Georgia weren't far behind with a 4.6% increase and Texas grew 4.5% in the two years.

Two states saw a population decrease from 2000 to 2002. North Dakota lost 8,090 residents overall and thus shrunk 1.3%. West Virginia lost 6,471 from its population resulting in a 0.4% decrease in population.

The table below provides a listing of states in order of population rank, based on the July 1, 2002 estimates. On the next page, you'll find a listing of states based on their percentage growth for the two years 2000-2002.

States Ranked in Order of Population (July 1, 2002 Estimates)

RankStateJuly 2002 Pop.Census 2000 Pop.Change
1California35,116,03333,871,6483.7%
2Texas21,779,89320,851,6484.5%
3New York19,157,53218,976,4571.0%
4Florida16,713,14915,982,3784.6%
5Illinois12,600,62012,419,2931.5%
6Pennsylvania12,335,09112,281,0540.4%
7Ohio11,421,26711,353,1400.6%
8Michigan10,050,4469,938,4441.1%
9New Jersey8,590,3008,414,3502.1%
10Georgia8,560,3108,186,4534.6%
11North Carolina8,320,1468,049,3133.4%
12Virginia7,293,5427,078,5153.0%
13Massachusetts6,427,8016,349,0971.2%
14Indiana6,159,0686,080,4851.3%
15Washington6,068,9965,894,1213.0%
16Tennessee5,797,2895,689,2831.9%
17Missouri5,672,5795,595,2111.4%
18Maryland5,458,1375,296,4863.1%
19Arizona5,456,4535,130,6326.4%
20Wisconsin5,441,1965,363,6751.4%
21Minnesota5,019,7204,919,4792.0%
22Colorado4,506,5424,301,2614.8%
23Alabama4,486,5084,447,1000.9%
24Louisiana4,482,6464,468,9760.3%
25South Carolina4,107,1834,012,0122.4%
26Kentucky4,092,8914,041,7691.3%
27Oregon3,521,5153,421,3992.9%
28Oklahoma3,493,7143,450,6541.2%
29Connecticut3,460,5033,405,5651.6%
30Iowa2,936,7602,926,3240.4%
31Mississippi2,871,7822,844,6581.0%
32Kansas2,715,8842,688,4181.0%
33Arkansas2,710,0792,673,4001.4%
34Utah2,316,2562,233,1693.7%
35Nevada2,173,4911,998,2578.8%
36New Mexico1,855,0591,819,0462.0%
37West Virginia1,801,8731,808,344-0.4%
38Nebraska1,729,1801,711,2631.0%
39Idaho1,341,1311,293,9533.6%
40Maine1,294,4641,274,9231.5%
41New Hampshire1,275,0561,235,7863.2%
42Hawaii1,244,8981,211,5372.8%
43Rhode Island1,069,7251,048,3192.0%
44Montana909,453902,1950.8%
45Delaware807,385783,6003.0%
46South Dakota761,063754,8440.8%
47Alaska643,786636,9322.7%
48North Dakota634,110642,200-1.3%
49Vermont616,592608,8271.3%
50Wyoming498,703493,7821.0%
Source: Table ST-EST2002-01 - State Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2002, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Release Date: December 20, 2002

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