- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show West Virginia was one of six states to lose population.

According to the numbers released this week, West Virginia lost nearly 3,279 residents between July 2013 and July 2014. The drop of .18 percent is the highest percentage drop across the country.

The Charleston Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/16TaWXZ) that only Illinois lost more total residents than the Mountain State. Connecticut, New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont also lost population.

North Dakota was the fastest-growing state with a 2.2 percent increase. The state remains one of the least-populated but has seen a boom in the oil and gas industry.

California remained the nation’s most populous state in 2014 with 38.8 million residents. The U.S. population increased by 2.4 million to 318.9 million.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette, http://www.wvgazette.com

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