Published Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009 | 8:53 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009 | 10:04 a.m.
Nevada’s days of red-hot growth appear to be finished, at least for now.
In an early morning press release, the Census Bureau estimates Nevada was home to 2.64 million people on July 1, 2009, which is roughly 1 percent more than in July 2008.
The fastest growing states were Wyoming, Utah and Texas, which grew at about twice the rate of Nevada.
California remains the most populous state with 37 million people, with Texas second with nearly 25 million.
Census officials note that both Nevada and Florida, which have long welcomed tens of thousands of new residents from other states every year, both experienced “out-migration” to other states – more people left Nevada and Florida than moved in.
Of Nevada’s modest growth of 27,000 new people, 20,000 were the result of childbirth; 11,000 moved here from abroad while 4,000 Nevadans left and moved to other states.
The Census will conduct its official count of every American in 2010, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. That count will in turn be used to determine how many congressional seats are awarded to each individual state.
Nevada is expected to win an additional congressional seat, bringing the state’s total to four.
Economists and policymakers have been eagerly awaiting the Census estimate to help them determine whether new population would help ease a glut in residential and commercial real estate, and whether Nevadans are leaving the state to find work elsewhere, as now appears likely.
For the better part of nearly two decades, Nevada was the fastest growing state in the nation, adding 3.5 percent, for instance, between 2005 and 2006, or more than three times the rate of last year’s growth.