We’re #26!

The annual population estimates are out from the U.S. Census Bureau today. (Here’s the raw data)

As of July, Minnesota’s population is 5,197,62, a slight increase from a year earlier (.83%).

Only two states — Rhode Island and Michigan (is there a bigger basket case than Michigan?) — lost population over the year. Minnesota is not exactly booming — population wise. We’re 26th in population growth, trailing even South Dakota (20th in growth) and Alaska (23rd in growth).

The fastest-growing states are Nevada (2.93%), Arizona (2.81%), Utah (2.55%), Idaho (2.43%), and Georgia (2.17%).

The Midwest (+.39%) and Northeast (+.17%) trail the South (1.43%) and West (1.38%) in growth.

Taken over a two-year span, the differences are more stark. Arizona has added 6.5%, Nevada 6.49% and Utah 5.60%. Minnesota, meanwhile, has added only 1.64% (25th).

At this rate, it will be difficult for Minnesota to retain its current level of representation in Congress. The state will likely drop from eight to seven congressional districts. The states that are gaining population are traditional Republican states. The states that are growing slowly are traditional Democratic states.

The report does not break down who these people are. We can guess that Arizona’s increase is largely senior citizens (possibly formerly Minnesotans!). But it will be interesting to see how Minnesota’s population is shifting demographically.

Minnesota demographer Tom Stinson told the Fargo Forum that the growth “is largely due to an increase in births. In 2006, Minnesota births were at their highest level since 1964.”

We are nothing if not fertile.

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