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Fla., Calif., Tex. seen as fastest growing states

Florida, California and Texas will make up nearly half of total American population growth between 2000 and 2030, the Census Bureau said on Thursday.
Transportation Workers Strike in California
Commuter traffic is commonplace Southern California. In this Oct. 14, 2003, picture, the 101 freeway is even more backed up than usual as a result of a transportation workers' strike in Los Angeles.David Mcnew / Getty Images file
/ Source: Reuters

Reflecting a continued shift of U.S. population to the South and West, Florida, California and Texas will make up nearly half of total U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2030, the Census Bureau said Thursday.

In new state population projections, the bureau said Florida, now the 4th most populous state, should edge past New York into 3rd place by 2011, while California and Texas will continue to rank 1st and 2nd, respectively, in 2030.

Ariz., N.C. growing quickly
These three states would each gain more than 12 million people between 2000 and 2030, accounting for 46 percent of total U.S. population growth during the period. Arizona, meanwhile, is projected to add 5.6 million people, and North Carolina, with 4.2 million, would round out the top five numerical gainers.

As a result, Arizona and North Carolina would move into the top 10 in total population by 2030 with Arizona rising to 10th place from 20th place in 2000 and North Carolina would rise to 7th place from 11th place. Michigan and New Jersey are projected to drop out of the top 10.

The bureau said the projections were produced by its Population Division based on data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia from the 2000 census. They represent the result of a mathematical projection model that assumes the continuation of current state-specific trends in fertility, mortality and domestic and international migration.

The projections indicate that the five fastest-growing states between 2000 and 2030 would be Nevada, at 114 percent over the period, Arizona at 109 percent, Florida at 80 percent, Texas at 60 percent and Utah at 56 percent.

The Census Bureau said 88 percent of the nation’s population growth between 2000 and 2030 should occur in the South and West, which also will contain the 10 fastest-growing states over the period.

The share of the population living in the South and West will increase to 65 percent in 2030 from 58 percent in 2000, according to the Census Bureau projections. The share of population in the Northeast and Midwest would decline to 35 percent in 2030 from 42 percent in 2000.

An aging country
In 2000, each of the nation’s 50 states had more people under 18 than 65 and older. In 2030, 10 states are projected to have more people 65 and older than under 18: Florida, Delaware, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

As the oldest baby boomers become senior citizens in 2011, the population 65 and older is projected to grow faster than the total population in every state, the bureau said. In fact, 26 states are projected to double their 65-and-older populations between 2000 and 2030.