The Fastest Growing States In The US

By Amanda Postma
Feb. 2, 2021

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You know those places people are always itching to move to?

Maybe it’s a specific travel destination that they’re sure they can make a home out of. Or perhaps they’re ready for a new climate.

Almost 33 million people move in the U.S. each year. So where exactly are they moving? We know Disney World isn’t big enough for everyone.

Lucky for you, we figured out all the answers. By using the Census data, we found out which states everyone is moving to and where exactly they’re moving from. The answers may surprise you.

The Fastest Growing States in the U.S.

  1. Idaho
  2. Nevada
  3. Arizona
  4. Utah
  5. South Carolina
  6. Colorado
  7. Washington
  8. Texas
  9. North Carolina
  10. Georgia

Surprised? So were we. Of course, we weren’t surprised by all of the states. I mean, have you seen the pictures of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado?

Turns out, not as many people were running away to New York for a chance in the Big Apple as we once thought. So maybe there is a bit more room in some of the typical travel destinations.

At least we know they aren’t the fastest-growing states after all. In fact, those places have become states where Americans don’t want to live.

HOW WE DETERMINED THE Fastest growing states

This one was pretty simple. We used population data from the Census’ ACS. We simply calculated the difference between 2019 (the latest year data is available) and 2018.

We totaled the percent decrease or increase based on the total population. After all, a large state gaining a thousand residents will not be nearly as impactful as a small state losing a thousand residents.

The higher percent of new residents, the faster growing the state.

From there, we found out where the highest number of transplanted residents lived a year prior. We excluded foreign countries and abroad. However, it was a significant source of movement for all states in the top 10, with the exception of Idaho.

1. Idaho

idaho class=

Population Change: 1.87%
Population Gain: 32,857
Where They Moved From: California, Washington and Oregon

Idaho may not be your dream home, but to 32,857 people it couldn’t get any better. Within a year, the state saw a 1.87% surge in its population.

The majority of people who now call Idaho home came from California, Washington, and Oregon. So is Idaho the new West Coast dream destination? Who’s to say. But we bet it has something to do with the cost of living.

2. Nevada

nevada class=

Population Change: 1.51%
Population Gain: 45,764
Where They Moved From: California, Utah and Arizona

People come from far and wide to enjoy the pleasures Nevada has to offer. A weekend stay, sure. But to lay new home roots?

The data doesn’t lie, though. With a population gain of 45,764, Nevada is one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S. Surely, it’s not all due to the slot machines.

3. Arizona

arizona class=

Population Change: 1.49%
Population Gain: 107,071
Where They Moved From: California, Texas and Washington

Arizona has a lot to offer. Dry heat (we hear it’s better than humidity), a cactus-filled desert landscape, and the Grand Canyon, it’s definitely a state worth a stop.

Last year, 107,071 people decided it was worth moving much more than just a vacation. They came from California, Washington, and Texas. Some things are worth moving for.

4. Utah

utah class=

Population Change: 1.42%
Population Gain: 44,853
Where They Moved From: California, Idaho and Colorado

People from California, Colorado, and Idaho are all moving to Utah. In fact, the state gained 44,853 new residents almost overnight.

The 1.42% population increase was enough to make Utah become the fourth-fastest growing state in the country. I guess someone likes to hike.

5. South Carolina

south carolina class=

Population Change: 1.27%
Population Gain: 64,587
Where They Moved From: North Carolina, Florida and Georgia

South Carolina gained 64,587 residents within just a year. That’s a whopping 1.27% population increase. Where are these people coming from?

North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. As the first southern state to make it on the list, we had to know why. Turns out, it’s a great place to retire.

6. Colorado

colorado class=

Population Change: 1.11%
Population Gain: 63,172
Where They Moved From: Texas, California and Florida

There’s no questioning the 63,172 people who moved to Colorado. What’s not to love with the snow and the mountains? It’s a skier, snowboarder, hiker, and sledder dream.

Apparently, Texas, California, and Florida were all too warm for Colorado’s newest 1.11% addition. Although, the state’s outdoor activities year-round will attract the fittest of crowds.

7. Washington

washington class=

Population Change: 1.05%
Population Gain: 79,302
Where They Moved From: Texas, California and Oregon

The number of residents to leave Washington for Arizona and Idaho wasn’t enough to keep it off this list. Because while it lost a few here and there, the state also claimed 79,302 new residents.

Coming in from Texas, California, and Oregon, it’s easy to see why Washington’s population escalated 1.05%. From the great outdoors to the job opportunities, the residents there have it made.

8. Texas

texas class=

Population Change: 1.02%
Population Gain: 294,036
Where They Moved From: Louisiana, California and Florida

Texas. Where all of your exes are supposed to live. But yet, everyone seems to be flocking there. 294,036 to be exact.

With the 1.02% population gain, we wondered what it was about the Lonestar state that suddenly made it so popular for residents from Louisiana, California, and Florida. It really boils down to job opportunities. Texas has got them.

9. North Carolina

north carolina class=

Population Change: 1.01%
Population Gain: 104,464
Where They Moved From: South Carolina, Florida and Virginia

Beaches, mountains, and a serious college basketball rivalry. What else could you want? North Carolina offers that and so much more, which is probably why 104,464 new residents recently moved in.

When it comes to moving to North Carolina, there are so many reasons. The commute times, job opportunities, and cost of living are just a few.

10. Georgia

georgia class=

Population Change: 0.93%
Population Gain: 97,948
Where They Moved From: South Carolina, Florida and Texas

The 10th-fastest-growing state in the U.S. is popular for a couple of reasons. For one, Georgia’s job opportunities are off the hook. And for another reason, the state offers an affordable lifestyle.

That’s why, over a year, the state gained 97,948 new residents for a total population increase of 0.93%. Everything seems to be peachy keen in Georgia.

Moving On Up

As the U.S. population starts finding new destinations to call home, there’s one thing that’s very clear. Job opportunities and living costs are more important than ever.

It seems just yesterday most people would have been content with a 100-square-feet apartment located in Manhattan for $2,000 a month. But with this data, more and more people are choosing to put that money toward something else.

This list of fastest-growing states shows us exactly what people are into nowadays. The states with the most outdoor activities with mild weather seem to be a theme as well.

The Fastest (and Slowest) Growing States in the U.S.

Rank State Population Change Population Gain
1 Idaho 1.87% 32,857
2 Nevada 1.51% 45,764
3 Arizona 1.49% 107,071
4 Utah 1.42% 44,853
5 South Carolina 1.27% 64,587
6 Colorado 1.11% 63,172
7 Washington 1.05% 79,302
8 Texas 1.02% 294,036
9 North Carolina 1.01% 104,464
10 Georgia 0.93% 97,948
11 Tennessee 0.87% 59,164
12 Florida 0.84% 178,412
13 Delaware 0.68% 6,593
14 Oregon 0.64% 27,024
15 Montana 0.61% 6,473
16 Indiana 0.60% 40,341
17 Minnesota 0.51% 28,453
18 Maine 0.43% 5,808
19 Oklahoma 0.35% 13,892
20 Alabama 0.31% 15,314
21 South Dakota 0.27% 2,424
22 Nebraska 0.27% 5,140
23 North Dakota 0.26% 1,985
24 New Hampshire 0.24% 3,253
25 Virginia 0.21% 17,834
26 Rhode Island 0.19% 2,046
27 Missouri 0.18% 10,976
28 Wyoming 0.18% 1,022
29 Wisconsin 0.15% 8,866
30 Arkansas 0.13% 3,979
31 New Mexico 0.07% 1,401
32 Kansas 0.06% 1,804
33 Maryland 0.05% 2,962
34 Ohio 0.00% -342
35 Kentucky -0.02% -729
36 Iowa -0.03% -1,075
37 Pennsylvania -0.04% -5,071
38 Michigan -0.09% -9,058
39 California -0.11% -44,822
40 Massachusetts -0.14% -9,646
41 Connecticut -0.21% -7,378
42 Louisiana -0.24% -11,184
43 New Jersey -0.30% -26,330
44 Hawaii -0.33% -4,619
45 Mississippi -0.35% -10,381
46 Vermont -0.37% -2,310
47 New York -0.45% -88,648
48 Illinois -0.54% -69,259
49 West Virginia -0.76% -13,685
50 Alaska -0.80% -5,893

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Amanda Postma

Amanda Postma is a writer for the Zippia Career Advice blog with a focus on creating entertaining content to help you through your job search. She received her BA from the University Of Missouri-Columbia.

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