- Katie Wedell Staff Writer
The big states got even bigger for the most part in 2017, but the news wasn’t all bad for slow-growing Ohio, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census.
Ohio grew by 36,055 people from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, which may pale next to California, Texas and Florida, but was greater than the growth in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois — the largest state to actually lose population in the last year.
And Ohio’s year-over-year growth was greater than the 9,000 people gained from 2015 to 2016.
Idaho took the title as fastest growing state in 2017, growing 2.2 percent to more than 1.7 million people.
Georgia, the nation’s eighth largest state, continues to be hot on Ohio’s heals.
Georgia gained more than 115,000 residents from 2016 to 2017, according to the census estimates. The Peach State has grown by 7.6 percent since 2010, while Ohio’s growth has been much slower — about 1 percent over the same period.
At those rates, Georgia could unseat Ohio as the seventh most populous state by 2030.
State population has implications for representation in Congress. The number of seats each state gets in the House of Representatives is determined by the official decennial census which will take place in 2020.
Ohio is projected to lose one seat after that count — from 16 down to 15 — because other states have grown so much in comparison.
Overall, the U.S. population grew by 2.3 million in the past year.
Net international migration decreased 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017, marking the first drop since 2013, but immigrants coming to the U.S. is still a huge population driver.
“Net international migration continues to be a significant factor in the population growth of the United States, adding just over 1.1 million people in the last year,” the census bureau said.