When the Census Bureau released its 2013 population estimates this week, they showed that southern and western regions of the country grew at the fastest pace. But Ninth District states held their own.
North Dakota ranked first in the nation in state population growth. South Dakota (6th), Montana (15th) and Minnesota (22nd) also grew faster than the national average, and only Wisconsin (37th) grew slower than the nation (see table).
Some of the population growth occurred from natural increases—the number of births outweighed the number of deaths. Natural population increase was relatively consistent; all district states saw an increase of between 0.3 and 0.6 percent in its population by natural means. For Minnesota and Wisconsin, it was by far the largest growth factor.
The other factor in population change is migration; 37 percent of U.S. population growth occurred from international migration. International migration was a significant factor in the population increases for Minnesota and Wisconsin.
States can also gain (or lose) population by migration between states (see chart). Montana and the Dakotas gained considerable population from people moving into the state from other parts of the country. Almost 17,000 people migrated to North Dakota from other states, most of them headed for the many job opportunities in the Bakken oil fields. Net state migration was negative in Minnesota and especially Wisconsin.