Moving to North Dakota: The New Census Estimates

Wendell Cox
Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission

With the exception of California, all of the 10 states losing the largest number of domestic migrants  were in the Northeast or the Midwest

The new state (and DC) population estimates indicate a  substantial slowdown in growth, from an annual rate of 0.93 percent during the  2000s to 0.75% between 2011 and 2012. This 20 percent slowdown in growth was  driven by a reduction in the crude birth rate to the lowest point ever recorded  in the United States (12.6 live births per 1000 population).

The big surprise was the population growth leader, North  Dakota, which has experienced a strong boom in natural resource extraction.  Between 1930 and 2010, North Dakota had lost population. However in the first  two years of the new decade, North Dakota has experienced strong growth, and  reached its population peak, according to the new estimates, in 2012. North Dakota’s  population growth rate between 2011 and 2012 was 2.17%. Nearby South Dakota  also grew rapidly, ranking 10th in population growth. The other fastest-growing  states were all in the South or the West. The District of Columbia, located in  the strongly growing Washington, DC Metropolitan area ranked second in growth  rate behind North Dakota (Figure 1).Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 7.35.36 AM

Two states lost population, Vermont and Rhode Island, as the  Northeast and Midwest represented all but one of the 10 slowest growing states.  West Virginia, in the South, was also included among the slowest growing states  (Figure 2).

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The domestic migration trends continue to favor the South  and West. Texas continues to attract the largest number of domestic migrants  (141,000), followed by Florida (101,000). These two states have been the domestic migration leaders in the nation every year since 2000 (Figure 3). Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 7.36.06 AM

Four  states gained from 25,000 to 35,000 domestic migrants (Arizona, North Carolina,  Tennessee and South Carolina).

Generally, the same states continued to dominate domestic  migration losses, with New York losing the most migrants, Illinois ranking  second, followed by California, Ohio and Michigan. With the exception of California, all of the 10 states losing the largest number of domestic migrants  were in the Northeast or the Midwest (Figure 4).

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 7.36.19 AM

Overall, domestic migration continues to be dominated by the  South, which attracted 354,000 residents from other states. The West added  52,000 domestic migrants, however virtually all of this gain occurred in the  Intermountain West. Gains in Oregon and Washington were far more than offset by  the large losses in California, as well as losses in Hawaii and Alaska. The  Intermountain West gained more than 70,000 domestic migrants. The Northeast  lost 221,000.

Crossposted on New Geography

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