If you want an idea of which U.S. states are up-and-coming, population growth is a good indicator. Climate, housing costs, and job economy are all factors that might influence domestic migration, but the states that see the biggest population boosts in any given year aren’t always easy to predict. As Thrillist reports, the fastest-growing state in the U.S. is Idaho with a recent population boost of 2.2 percent in a single year.
That number comes from data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. The state with the second highest growth rate was Nevada, with a 2 percent population spike, followed by Utah with 1.9 percent, Washington state with 1.7, and Florida with 1.6. But state-to-state migration wasn’t always the driving factor. Though that was the case for Idaho and Nevada, Utah owes its population growth to a birthrate that outpaced its death rate.
Percentage growth isn’t the same as numeric growth: In terms of pure numbers, Texas, Florida, and California saw the largest population increases—though those three states also happen to be the three most populous states in the U.S. to begin with.
According to the Census Bureau, the overall U.S. population rose by 2.3 million people or 0.72 percent during the time the data was sampled. But despite the nationwide growth, some states actually saw their numbers drop. Mississippi, Hawaii, Alaska, Illinois, West Virginia, and Wyoming were the eight states impacted by population declines. To see which states are welcoming the most new residents and which are seeing their populations dwindle, check out the Census Bureau map below.