In overall numbers, Texas had the highest numerical increase--an increase of more than 400,000 people in 2016 compared to the previous year. California remains the most populous state in the union, but were it not for continued immigration, the population would probably stop growing due to internal migration out of California to other states--like Texas where property taxes and business taxes and regulations are lower.
Regionally, population growth was highest in the West and the South, as noted by the NYTimes coverage of the Census Bureau's report:
“The movement to the South and West is a very long-term trend,” said Mr. [Jeff] Passel of Pew [Research], adding that those regions attract older residents of the Northeast and Midwest looking for more temperate places to retire.
The Midwest expanded by nearly 0.2 percent, while the population in the Northeast remained virtually unchanged. Both regions lost more residents than they gained from migration, though that was offset by more births than deaths.
The South is now home to 38 percent of the national population, while 24 percent of Americans live in the West. The Midwest is home to 21 percent of the population and the Northeast is home to 17 percent.The NYTimes also notes that the rate of population growth in the country as a whole is at its lowest level in many decades. Nonetheless, we still added more than 2 million to the total last year, since we are building on a base that represents the third most populous country in the world. And, since we have the largest economy in the world, those new folks add disproportionately to the environmental consequence of ever-rising resource utilization. I was reminded of this by another story this morning about the newest alarm bells going off because of the rise in temperature in the Arctic.