Sun Belt the Center of Population Shift
January 2, 2014
More people are moving to the Sun Belt region, with many choosing to head South and West rather than to the Northeast and Midwest, the Census Bureau reports.
In a 12-month period ending last July 1, Texas had added more residents than any other state: 387,397. It is the second most populous state, at 26,448,193 residents, behind California, which has 38,332,521.
Florida is also inching closer to overtaking New York as the third most populous state. New York’s population was 19,651,127 as of July 1 compared to Florida’s 19,552,860. The difference between the two states' populations has been shrinking steadily over the last few years. If the population growth continues at the same rate, Florida is expected to overtake New York in February as the third most populous state.
The Sun Belt includes “places that are newer, have more opportunities for job growth, and are less costly to live,” says William Frey, a demographer at the Washington-based Brookings Institution.
The following are the 10 most populous states, according to the U.S. Census:
- California: 38,332,521
- Texas: 26,448,193
- New York: 19,651,127
- Florida: 19,552,860
- Illinois: 12,882,135
- Pennsylvania: 12,773,801
- Ohio: 11,570,808
- Georgia: 9,992,167
- Michigan: 9,895,622
- North Carolina: 9,848,060
Source: “Florida Poised to Pass New York as Third-Most Populous State,” Bloomberg (Dec. 30, 2013)
Updated: May 18, 2019