In just ten years, the U.S. population has grown by a record 32.7 million people. In 2000, over 281.4 million people called the United States of America home. This record increase, second only to the "baby boom" of the 1950's, followed a familiar pattern, increased populations in the West and South, and slower growth rates in the Midwest and Northeast.
The 2000 census showed a first for record growth in each and every state and close to 80 percent of counties increased in population during the last ten years.
The census reported the following key findings:
- Nevada has been the fastest-growing state for four straight decades. During the past decade, the fastest-growing region was the West at 19.7 percent, which added 10.4 million people in the 1990s for a total of 63.2 million. The fastest-growing states in the nation were all located in the West: Nevada (66.3 percent), Arizona (40.0 percent), Colorado (30.6 percent), Utah (29.6 percent) and Idaho (28.5 percent). California recorded the largest numeric increase of any state, 4.1 million people.
- Americans continue to be attracted to large metropolitan areas. In 2000, more than 8 out of 10 of the nation's population (226.0 million) lived in metropolitan areas and 3 in 10 were in metro areas of at least 5 million people. Metro areas with populations between 2 million and 5 million contained 14.4 percent of the population and grew the fastest (19.8 percent).
- New York remains the most populous metropolitan area. New York continued to be the most populous metro area with a population of 21.2 million, followed by Los Angeles with a population of 16.4 million. Las Vegas was the fastest-growing metropolitan area with an 83.3 percent growth rate. It was followed by Naples, FL, with a growth rate of 65 percent, and seven other areas with growth rates between 44 and 50 percent. The 10 fastest-growing metro areas were located in the South and West.
- Figures show dramatic growth in Asian and Hispanic populations. Between July 1, 1990 and July 1, 1999, the nation's Asian and Pacific Islander population grew 43 percent to 10.8 million, and the Hispanic population grew 38.8 percent to 31.3 million, the Census shows.