Wyoming Population Down in Largest Decline Since 1989

The state now trails Pennsylvania in population by about 3,500 people, making IL the sixth-most-populous state in the U.S.

Idaho saw its population boom by 2.2% over the a year ago, leading the nation in population growth during that period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data estimates released Wednesday.

Texas is now firmly in second place among the most populous states. Congress has capped the number of House seats at 435 since 1929, so every 10 years the seats are reallocated among the 50 states based on their current share of the national population.

Eight states, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Hawaii, Alaska, Illinois, West Virginia and Wyoming had negative growth, or the number of people being born and moving in is less than the number dying and moving out. It's the fourth straight year that IL has recorded a population decline, according to the census data.

The Census Bureau produces annual estimates of the population for the nation, states, counties, and cities and towns, as well as for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its municipios.

Past year it was ranked 5th.

In a statement, Liz Schuh, principal policy analyst for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for planning, said that while the narrow window of the study can be misleading, "Census data over several years does indicate stagnant or even declining population for our region and state".

Wyoming had the largest percentage decline among states, losing almost 5,600 resident or about 1% of the state's population. That would be Idaho, which is now home to 1.7 million people and grew 2.2 percent during the past year. Florida is a distant third with 20.9 million people, and NY is fourth with a population of 19.8 million. Net worldwide migration decreased 1.8% - the first drop since 2012 to 2013.

The estimates, published by the U.S. Census Bureau, estimated population changes between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.

According to a news release from the Chief Economist Wenlin Liu, Wyoming's population fell by 5,595 from July 2016 to July 2017.

  • Jon Douglas