- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Montana’s population increased by 8,715 people from July 2013 to July 2014.

As of July 1, Montana’s estimated population was 1,023,579.

The increase of 0.9 percent put Montana 18th among states in percentage growth, but the Big Sky State still remains the 44th largest state in terms of population.

Around the region, the Bakken oil boom helped North Dakota’s population grow at a rate of 2.2 percent - the fastest growth rate in the nation. North Dakota has nearly 732,500 residents.

Wyoming’s population increased by an estimated 930 people, or 0.2 percent, to 584,153 in mid-2014. It remains the least populated state in the country.

Idaho’s population increased by over 21,600 residents, a 1.3 percent increase. The state’s population is now estimated at 1.63 million.

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