The total U.S. population has grown 9.7 percent in the past decade to 308,745,538, with the bulk of the country’s growth continuing to shift away from the Northeast and Midwest to warmer states in the Southern and Western regions, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday.
The U.S. Constitution charges the Census Bureau with the task of counting residents every 10 years to track population shifts in the country, and the results are used to redistribute seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The numbers released yesterday were the first results from the 2010 census conducted this year.
Of particular interest to our readers: Bureau officials said they expect to detail the age, sex and racial composition of the national population based on the 2010 census figures sometime in February or March.
The 2010 census numbers released yesterday effectively changed the political map, with 12 Congressional seats shifting in nearly 18 states. Based on the new numbers, Texas gained the most Congressional seats this decade, with a total of four. Other states gaining seats include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.
Those losing seats are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.
Bureau officials said geographic variations in population growth reveals the continuation of a multi-decade trend of growth in the Southern and Western regions. Specifically:
- The Northeast grew by 3.2 percent
- The Midwest grew by 3.9 percent
- The South, already the region with the largest population, grew by 14.3 percent
- And finally, the West grew by 13.8 percent
The 2010 census results will also be used to distribute more than $400 billion in annual federal aid.