California remained the most populous state, but Texas saw the greatest increase in population over the past decade, according to the initial data from the 2010 U.S. Census. The U.S. Census Bureau delivered the data to President Obama on Dec. 21, and it will be used as states reapportion their voting districts.
The census showed the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538, an increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000 U.S. resident population of 281,421,906. California's population was 37,253,956, while the least populous state was Wyoming with 563,626 residents. Fastest-growing Texas gained 4,293,741 over the last decade for a total of 25,145,561, but Nevada gained the most as a percentage of its 2000 Census count, up 35.1 percent to 2,700,551. Regionally, the South and the West picked up the bulk of the population increase, 14,318,924 and 8,747,621, respectively. But the Northeast and the Midwest also grew: 1,722,862 and 2,534,225.
The apportionment counts, which are calculated by a congressionally defined formula to divide among the states the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, were delivered to the president 10 days before the statutory deadline of Dec. 31. The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the 50 states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a state. Each member of the House represents, on average, about 710,767 people. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population, as they do not have voting seats in Congress.
Obama will transmit the apportionment counts to the 112th Congress during the first week of its first regular session in January. Beginning in February and wrapping up by March 31, the Census Bureau will release demographic data to the states so state governments can start the redistricting process.
Read the press release about the 2010 Census data.