The U.S. population grew at the lowest rate in more than 70 years, according to Census Bureau data released Monday, with most of the growth fueled by states in the south and west.
The total population reached 316,128,839 in July, an increase of .72 percent from the 313,873,685 total a year earlier. It’s the lowest rate of population growth in more than seven decades, according to the New York Times.
California, the nation’s most populous state, became the first in the union to top 38 million people this year after adding 332,643 people. Texas grew by 387,397 people, and Florida by 232,111. Despite a much smaller rate of growth, adding only 75,002, New York still edged out Florida as the third largest state.
North Dakota, in the midst of an ongoing oil boom, saw the highest percentage increase, growing by 3.14 percent in the year ending in July. Maine and West Virginia both decreased in size, and Puerto Rico lost more than 1 percent of its population.
The Census Bureau said separately that the population will hit 317,297,938 on Jan. 1, 2014, with one birth expected every 8 seconds and death every 12 seconds.