- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The U.S. Census Bureau says the fastest growing states in the nation last year were Idaho, Nevada and Utah.

Idaho’s population increased 2.2 percent to 1.7 million from July 2016 and July 2017, followed by Nevada’s increase of 2 percent to just shy of 3 million. Utah was next with 1.9 percent growth to 3.1 million.

Luke Rogers, chief of the bureau’s Population Estimates Branch, says domestic migration drove changes in Idaho and Nevada while Utah’s growth was due primarily to more births than deaths over the 12-month period.

The overall U.S. population grew 0.7 percent over the year, an increase of 2.3 million to 325.7 million.

States in the South and West continue to lead in population growth. In 2017, 38 percent of the nation’s population lived in southern states and 23.8 percent lived in the West.

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