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The 10 Largest States by Population
Looking to move? Thankfully, America has a multitude of wonderful places to call home. From the East Coast to the West Coast, there are 50 beautiful states in the U.S. to choose from when making a long distance move decision. For those wanting a fresh start in a popular state, we’ve got you covered. Below are the 10 most populous states in America – as reported by the World Population Review. When selecting a new place to live, we suggest taking these 10 states into consideration. After all, they’re popular for a reason right?
It could be the cliff-lined beaches, giant redwoods, mild weather, or the booming tech and entertainment industries – but one thing’s for sure: California is a popular place to call home. According to the latest Census data, the Golden State is officially the most populous state in the country. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Population: 39,497,345
- 2016 growth rate: .90 percent, making it the 17th fastest growing state in the country.
- State capital: Sacramento
- Major cities in California include: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, and Anaheim.
- Fun fact: If California were a country, it would be the sixth largest economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum.
Whether you’re a cowboy or an aerospace engineer, Texas is a fantastic place to call home. The Lone Star State boasts a rich history, ample job opportunities, authentic tex-mex, a major space center, presidential libraries, a diverse demographic, and multiple large cities. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Population: 27,959,150
- 2016 growth rate: 1.78 percent, making it the third fastest-growing state in the country. According to World Population Review, Texas is also home to 5 of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.
- State capital: Austin
- Major cities in Texas include: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Irving, Plano, and Corpus Christi.
- Fun fact: The popular Texas slogan, “Don’t Mess with Texas,” comes from a 1990’s anti-littering advertising campaign, according to The New York Times.
If you’re looking for warm, balmy winters, you’ll find it in Florida. The average January – February temperatures in South Florida (aka “SoFlo”) hover around the 75 degree mark, making it prime beach weather year-round. The State of Florida is the southeasternmost state in the U.S., and is surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Population: 20,636,975
- 2016 growth rate: 1.80 percent, making it the fourth fastest-growing state in the country.
- State capital: Tallahassee
- Major cities in Florida include: Tallahassee, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, and Fort Lauderdale.
- Fun fact: The Florida Everglades, visited by over one million people every year, is the largest tropical wilderness east of the Mississippi River.
The State of New York is well-known for being home to the most densely populated major city in the country: New York City. The iconic city is one of the most important financial, commercial and cultural centers in the entire world. In addition to the city, New York boasts a diverse geography, with many notable mountains, lakes, and rivers throughout the state. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Population: 19,842,724
- 2016 growth rate: .24 percent, making it the 35th fastest-growing state in the country.
- State capital: Albany
- Major cities in New York include: New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse, and Albany.
- Fun fact: New York City makes up almost half of the entire population of the State of New York.
From the rich farmland to the skyscrapers of Chicago, this unique midwestern state offers one of the most diverse economies and geographic landscapes in the country. It is also home to a slew of natural resources, including coal, petroleum and timber. Often referred to as the “Land of Lincoln,” the State of Illinois is home to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the future Barack Obama Presidential Center as well. Here’s quick rundown:
- Population: 12,837,801
- 2016 growth rate: -.17 percent. The state of Illinois is one of seven states with a negative growth rate, according to World Population Review. It is the 49th fastest-growing state in the country.
- State capital: Springfield
- Major cities in Illinois include: Chicago, Springfield, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, and Peoria.
- Fun fact: Illinois is nicknamed “The Prairie State.”
The State of Pennsylvania is well-known for its central role in American history. Both the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted in the city of Philadelphia. Today, Pennsylvania has become a major financial industry leader, with multiple Fortune 500 companies calling the state home. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Population: 12,811,239
- 2016 growth rate: .07 percent, making it the 42nd fastest-growing state in the country.
- State capital: Harrisburg
- Major cities in Pennsylvania include: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton, Lancaster, Bethlehem, Levittown, and Harrisburg.
- Fun fact: Rich in history, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was one of the 13 original colonies in America.
Dubbed “The Buckeye State” for its Buckeye trees, Ohio is home to both expansive rural regions and several large cities (i.e. Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati). It is also referred to as “the mother of presidents,” as eight U.S. presidents were originally from Ohio. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Population: 11,629,848
- 2016 growth rate: .14 percent
- State capital: Columbus
- Major cities in Ohio include: Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Parma, Canton and Youngstown.
- Fun fact: Ohio is famous for being a “swing state” during national elections.
This southern U.S. state boasts beautiful beaches, flat farmland and rolling mountains. Its capital city offers the fifth highest job growth rate in the U.S., with major companies like Delta Air Lines and Coca Cola calling Atlanta home. In addition, the popular city of Savannah, Georgia attracts tourists for its historic architecture and famous sites.
- Population: 10,332,588
- 2016 Growth rate: 1.15 percent, making it the 12th fastest-growing state in the country. According to World Population Review, the state surpassed 10 million residents in 2013.
- State capital: Atlanta
- Major cities in Georgia include: Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, and Athens.
- Fun fact: Georgia is now a major hub for the film industry because of its generous tax credits to film productions.
From the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, the State of North Carolina boasts a wide-ranging landscape, a diverse population and a booming economy. The southeastern state, famous for its scrumptious BBQ and friendly residents, offers the best of both worlds – with its big metropolitan areas and various small towns scattered throughout the state. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Population: 10,145,217
- 2016 growth rate: 1.02 percent, making it the 14th fastest-growing state in the country.
- State capital: Raleigh
- Major cities in North Carolina include: Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Cary, High Point and Fayetteville.
- Fun fact: North Carolina’s motto “first in flight” references the Wright Brothers’ strides in aviation. The flight of their plane, “Kitty Hawk,” marked the first flight in the U.S., which took place in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
This midwestern state borders four Great Lakes, and is the only state in the U.S. to be made up of two separate peninsulas (the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula). Given its access to the Great Lakes and to thousands of smaller, inland lakes, Michigan is one of the most popular destinations in the country for boating.
- Population: 9,928,846
- 2016 growth rate: .06 percent, making it the 43rd fastest-growing state in the country.
- State capital: Lansing
- Major cities in Michigan include: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Flint.
- Fun fact: Michigan is considered the U.S. automotive industry capital, with several major car companies headquartered the Detroit area.
The next 10 most populous states include:
Learn more about the different cities in each of these states through our City Profile Report feature, which includes city demographics, real estate, economic makeup, income, education, and residential information. Simply enter the zip code or the state and city of your potential move, and get a free report at the click of a button.