National

Texas tops nation in population growth

Texas has once again topped the national growth chart, adding 529,000 people since the 2010 Census, though its rate of growth has slowed slightly.

The U.S. growth rate from April 2010 to July 2011 also slowed, falling to 0.92 percent, the lowest since the mid-1940s, according to census estimates released Wednesday.

"The nation's overall growth rate is now at its lowest point since before the baby boom," census Director Robert Groves said.

The country grew by 2.8 million people to 311.6 million.

The biggest gainers behind Texas were California (438,000), Florida (256,000), Georgia (128,000) and North Carolina (121,000).

The five states accounted for slightly more than half of the nation's population growth over the 15 months.

Washington, D.C., grew faster than any state, increasing by 2.7 percent over the period. Texas was the next fastest, at 2.1 percent, followed by Utah (1.93 percent), Alaska (1.76 percent) and Colorado (1.74 percent).

Steve Murdock, a Rice University professor and former census director, said the new numbers reflect a small decline in Texas' phenomenal growth over the last decade, when it grew by 20.3 percent, swelling the population by 4.3 million.

Adjusting the new Texas numbers to a yearly rate, the state's population grew about 1.7 percent, he said.

"That's still quite substantial compared to other states," Murdock said. "The in-migration is down, and I think it's clearly a continuation of a pattern.

"I think it will be surprising if we didn't see a little slower growth over the next couple of years."

Much of Texas' gain was homegrown, with 493,650 births far surpassing the 205,171 deaths, a natural increase of 288,479.

Net migration to Texas added 238,956 people, including 145,315 domestic movers and 93,641 international newcomers.

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