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States By Population

States By Population
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Populations Across the United States

The United States stands firm as the third most populous nation in the world, with roughly 339 million inhabitants and counting. Yet, within its broad expanse that spans from the Pacific to the Atlantic, lies fifty distinct states each showcasing a varied range of population sizes. These population figures are not just numbers, but reflect the social, economic, and environmental landscapes within each state, painting a diverse panorama of American life.

Key patterns:

  • The most populous state is California, home to 38.9 million residents. It houses more than 10% of the country's total population, reflecting its dynamic economy, diverse cultures, and its allure as the "Golden State".
  • Following California, Texas and Florida occupy the second and third positions with 31.0 million and 23.0 million residents, respectively. The rise in these Sun Belt States' populations can be attributed to factors such as favorable climate, robust job markets, and immigration.
  • More than half of the states (27 out of 50) have a population of less than 5 million, illustrating the rural or less densely populated nature of many parts of the country.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, states like Wyoming, Vermont, and Alaska have populations of less than a million. With Wyoming being the least populated state with only 586.5K residents.
  • The East Coast states, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey), also exhibit high population figures. This is largely due to the historical establishment and subsequent growth of cities like New York City and Philadelphia.
  • Conversely, many states in the Mountain West and Great Plains (such as Montana, Idaho, and both Dakotas) have smaller populations, partially because of their expansive geographical area and a lower density of urban centers.

States with the Largest Population

At the top spot, California is the most populous state, housing an impressive 38.9 million residents. This represents over 10% of the country's total population, reflecting the state's vibrant economy and cultural diversity. The state's application as the "Golden State" evidently lures individuals from across the country and around the world. 

The state with the second highest population is Texas, with 31.0 million residents, followed closely by Florida, with a population of 23.0 million. The growth in these Sun Belt states can be attributed to factors such as a favorable climate, strong job markets, and immigration flows. 

New York remains a highly populated state with a population of 19.5 million, despite seeing some out-migration in recent years. Meanwhile, states such as Pennsylvania and Illinois also have high populations, with 13.0 million and 12.5 million residents respectively. Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina each have over 11 million residents, reflecting their importance as populous and influential states within the American landscape. 

Finally, Michigan rounds out the top ten with a population size of 10.0 million. Despite the state's economic struggles in recent decades, it has managed to maintain a relatively stable population. 

States with the Largest Population:

  1. California - 38.9M
  2. Texas - 31.0M
  3. Florida - 23.0M
  4. New York - 19.5M
  5. Pennsylvania - 13.0M
  6. Illinois - 12.5M
  7. Ohio - 11.8M
  8. Georgia - 11.1M
  9. North Carolina - 11.0M
  10. Michigan - 10.0M

States with the Lowest Population

Even within the diverse range of populations observed among the United States, select states stand out for their smaller population sizes. Among these, Wyoming carries the distinction of having the smallest population, numbering only around 586.5K residents. Interestingly, this frontier state is known for its wide expanses of untouched wilderness, suggestive of its lower population density.

Nestling behind Wyoming is the state of Vermont, with a population size of 647.8K. Known for its verdant landscapes and ski trails, the Green Mountain State is second in line for the least populated states across America.

Alaska, famed for its vast and rugged wilderness, also displays one of the smaller state populations with approximately 733.5K inhabitants. This is followed closely by both North and South Dakota, sporting populations of 788.9K and 928.8K respectively.

Meanwhile, Delaware, despite its small geographic size, holds a population of just over a million, trailed by the coastal state of Rhode Island with a population of 1.1M. The Rocky Mountain state of Montana mirrors this figure with an equally populated 1.1M residents.

Located in the northeastern part of the country, both Maine and New Hampshire round out the list with their relatively smaller populations of 1.4M residents each.

States with the Lowest Population:

  1. Wyoming - 586.5K
  2. Vermont - 647.8K
  3. Alaska - 733.5K
  4. North Dakota - 788.9K
  5. South Dakota - 928.8K
  6. Delaware - 1.0M
  7. Rhode Island - 1.1M
  8. Montana - 1.1M
  9. Maine - 1.4M
  10. New Hampshire - 1.4M

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