Watch 220 Years of U.S. State Population Growth


Around this time of year, some of us can’t help but think of the history of this great nation. What was life like back in the days of the founding fathers, and how have they changed in the decades since? Using the population data of every Census since the first, which occurred in 1790, at we’ve put together an animation showing the growth of every state’s population from then till now. The states are in order of the date they became admitted, and you may notice that some were being counted prior to statehood. These states were at the time either U.S. territories, or part of another state.

The graphic shows the interesting pace of change in the United States - California is now the most populous state, but there were some interesting changes in tempo over the years. At one point New York and Pennsylvania were neck and neck for most populous, only to be quickly outpaced by California and later on, Texas. The sheer velocity of California's growth is also interesting to watch, as the state saw growth of more than 15 million residents in the past 50 years.

Floridians might be surprised to learn that the during first 80 years of statehood, their population only grew to less than one million, while the next 80 years saw an increase of 15 million! It remains one of the fastest growing states today and may pass New York to become the third most populous state by the next Census.

You can see the graphic below or at full size here

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