Which is the most-populous state in the country?
The U.S. is the least-populated state in America, with fewer than one in three residents classified as “highly populated” by the Census Bureau.
And that number is dropping as the economy picks up.
The latest data released Wednesday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the number of people living in highly populated states rose by about 100,000 people between 2010 and 2020, a decline that was largely driven by migration to the East Coast.
“The number of highly populated people in the U. S. grew by 1.5 million between 2010-2020,” said Brian Evers, a senior demographer at the Bureau’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
“It was the largest single-year gain in population for a state since 2008.”
Evers added that the rise in migration was largely due to immigration to California, Texas and Florida.
The data also shows the West Coast continues to grow, with the West coast losing a net 4.7 million people.
The most populous states in the United States are: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and the District of Columbia.
The least populated states in America are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Census Bureau also released its first quarterly snapshot of median household income in 2016.
It found median household incomes in the 10 states with the largest increase in median household earnings were: Alabama (up by $11,400), California (up $7,800), Illinois (up slightly by $2,800) and New York (up significantly by $5,200).
In fact, median household household incomes increased by $3,600 in Arizona, $4,100 in California, $5.00 in Illinois, $6,600 and $7.00 on average in Arizona and California.
The median household annual income was $50,800 in Arizona in 2020, $53,700 in California and $55,100 and $57,600 respectively in New York.
“Median household income increased by about $8,100 across the nation, with California showing the largest jump in median income at $60,300,” said Evers.
“For the 10 most populous metropolitan areas, median income rose by $12,300 across the country.
The 10 least populous metropolitan area showed the largest gain in median annual household income at about $10,300.”
The median income in each state grew by about the same amount, with Arizona rising by $1,100, California by $734, California growing by $832, Illinois by $600 and Illinois by the smallest amount, at $100.
“In 2020, median annual incomes increased in nine of the 10 largest metro areas,” said Ben Schachter, director of the Urban Institute’s Center on the States.
“California’s median household wage increased by 3.6 percent over the last three years, while New York’s increased by 0.7 percent.”
While median income has increased over time, the numbers for most people have decreased.
The BLS released its monthly survey of median incomes in 2016, and the Census said median household disposable income decreased by $4.7 trillion between 2010 to 2020, the biggest decline in median disposable income since 2007.
“There’s no question that this was a particularly challenging time for median income,” said Schachver.
“We had an inflationary recession, and this has caused real wages to fall.”
The Census said the median household has seen real wages fall for four straight years, from a peak of $49,500 in 2006 to $45,600 last year.
The bureau said the trend is expected to continue over the next several years, with average wages increasing at a slower pace than inflation.
Census Bureau released a report last month showing that median household wealth fell by $9,300 from 2016 to 2019.
The report found median wealth for Americans increased by 6.2 percent from 2016-19 to 2019-20, but it also noted that median wealth fell for the second consecutive year.