North Dakota sees upward revision in population estimates

North Dakota sees upward revision in population estimates

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kevin iverson

Kevin Iverson, manager of the North Dakota Census Office, gave a presentation on population growth in 2015.

The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show North Dakota’s population reached an all-time high of 760,077 residents as of July 1, an increase of 4,901 from last year’s revised estimate.

“We’re excited to see more people moving into North Dakota, and for good reason: Our economy is strong, our jobs are abundant and our quality of life is second to none,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “While this population growth affirms our state is on the right track, we still have thousands of jobs to fill, making it vitally important that we invest in workforce development and create healthy, vibrant communities to attract and retain a 21st century workforce.”

Migration into the state has returned to the positive column after two years of out-migration due largely to a slowdown in the state’s energy sector from 2015 to 2017. 

“Births remained high, deaths did not climb as much as expected and migration returning to a positive figure is the story behind the estimate for the state’s population,” Kevin Iverson, the Census Office's manager, said. “I think we are in a period of slower but more sustained growth compared to what we saw in the earlier part of the decade.”

North Dakota’s estimated 2017 population was revised down slightly to 755,176 residents from 755,393. Revisions are common and tend to grow larger toward the end of the decade as more time passes since the last decennial census, Iverson said.

With the estimate released Wednesday, North Dakota retains its status as the 47th most populous state, a ranking it regained when the state surpassed Alaska between 2013 and 2014.

Since the last decennial census, North Dakota has been one of the nation’s fastest-growing states — estimated to have grown by nearly 13 percent since 2010. Only four states — Colorado, Florida, Texas and Utah — are estimated to have grown by a higher percentage since 2010. Last year’s census estimate also placed North Dakota as the fourth-youngest state, a position Iverson said he expects the state to retain this year.

Additional demographic information will be released by the Census Bureau in March.

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