1997 marks the 12th straight year that Nevada is the U.S.s fastest-growing state, according to population estimates released Dec. 31 by the Census Bureau. The states population grew 4.8% between July 1, 1996 and July 1, 1997, moving it past Nebraska as the nations 37th most populous state. Following Nevada were Arizona (with a population growth of 2.7%), Georgia and Utah (up 2.1% each), and Colorado (up 2.0%). Posting the biggest numerical increase was California, which recovered from its slow growth earlier in the 1990s by adding 410,000 people.
The West, with a growth rate of 1.6%, was the fastest-growing region in the nation, says the bureau. Next was the South, with a rate of 1.3%. But population growth in the Midwest slowed to 0.5 % and in the Northeast to 0.2%. Overall, the bureau estimates that the U.S.s population rose 2.4 million to 267.6 million--a rate of 0.9%.