The following is a list of the ten fastest growing states in the United States by population growth. Most of these fastest growing states either have rapid economic growth and low unemployment for people seeking jobs, or they have warm weather for people who don’t like winter. One of these states will even pay you to live there.
These are recent stats, as they measure the population growth from 2010 to 2012. I’ve actually included 11 states on the list because the 11th state is such a great place to visit, and probably live in.
Ten Fastest Growing States in the United States by Population Growth
1. North Dakota – 4.02%
North Dakota is the fastest growing state in the United States by population growth, with a growth rate of 4.02% from 2010 to 2012. Despite the rapid growth rate, North Dakota still only has 699,628 people living there, which ranks 48th out of the 50 states.
People are moving to North Dakota for jobs because it has the fastest growing economy in the United States with the lowest unemployment rate at just 3.0%. I think we can all agree that people are not moving to North Dakota for the weather.
North Dakota is one of the coldest states in the United States. Fargo, the largest city in North Dakota, has an annual average temperature of just 42.1 degrees, and the city averages 52 inches of snow per year.
2. Texas – 3.63%
Texas is the second fastest growing state in the United States by population growth. The population in Texas grew by 3.63% from 2010 to 2012, and there are now 26.1 million people living in the Lone Star State. Texas is the second largest state in the country by population.
Texas has an unemployment rate of 6.4%, which ranks 17th in the country. That’s pretty good, but people might also be moving to Texas due to the weather, as well as for jobs. Texas has a generally dry climate with relatively mild winters.
3. Utah – 3.31%
The state of Utah experienced population growth of 3.31% from 2010 to 2012, which ranks third best in the United States. Utah has the seventh lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.7%, and it has the 34th largest population in the United States with 2.9 million people.
4. Colorado – 3.15%
Colorado is the fourth fastest growing state in the United States by population, with a growth rate of 3.15%. Colorado has an unemployment rate of 7.0%, which ranks 22nd in the country.
5. Alaska – 2.99%
Alaska, the only state that pays its residents an annual stipend for living there, had a population growth rate of 2.99% from 2010 to 2012. That ranks fifth in the country. Alaska’s unemployment rate is 6.5%, which ranks 18th in the country.
6. Florida – 2.75%
Florida, the fourth largest state in the United States by total population, has a 2.75% growth rate. Florida’s unemployment rate is 7%, but the real draw for people to the Sunshine States is the mild weather, especially in the winter.
7. Washington – 2.56%
The state of Washington has a population growth rate of 2.56%. Washington has the 13th largest population in the country at 6.9 million people, and the state has an unemployment rate of 7.0%.
8. Arizona – 2.52%
Arizona has a unemployment rate of 8.3%, which ranks 43rd in the country. So people are not moving to the Grand Canyon State for jobs. Arizona is one of the sunniest, warmest and driest states in the United States, which is probably why it has the eighth highest population growth rate.
9. Georgia – 2.40%
Georgia has the 44th worst unemployment rate in the country at 8.7%, so people are not moving to the Peach State for jobs. Georgia does have a very mild climate which is probably the draw.
10. South Dakota – 2.36%
South Dakota has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.8%, and the 10th fastest population growth rate at 2.36%.
11. Hawaii – 2.35%
Hawaii has a population growth rate of 2.35%, which ranks 11th in the United States. I know the list is the top ten population growth states, but I love Hawaii and it’s such a beautiful state, I included it. I certainly understand the draw of moving to Hawaii.