31 states where the population has increased since the pandemic – 24/7 Wall St.


It will soon be two years since the pandemic disrupted life in the United States, forcing some people to reconsider where they live and how they work. One of the main consequences of the epidemic has been the relocation of people, mainly out of densely populated urban areas to parts of the country where it is much easier to socially distance. Demographic changes have political consequences. States gaining residents could end up with more seats in the House of Representatives. (See how each state’s population has changed over the past 100 years.)

To identify which states have grown the most since the pandemic, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the one-year population change from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021 according to the US Census Bureau. The average number of new COVID-19 cases over the past seven days comes from 24/7 Wall St.’s own COVID calculator for state totals.

Some states where the population grew during the pandemic were growing anyway due to the long-standing trend of Americans leaving Rust Belt states like Michigan and Ohio and northeastern states like New York and moving to head to warmer climates (and places with lower taxes) such as Florida, Arizona and Texas. Additionally, some people picked new states where COVID mandates were non-existent or less severe — for example, South Dakota as well as Florida and Texas.

People also left the more densely populated states of New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maryland for less densely populated places like Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Utah. All have a population density of less than 30 people per square mile, and all experienced the largest population increases over the time period we tracked, with growth of more than 1%. (By population, these are currently the largest states in America.)

Click here to see the states that have grown the most since the start of the pandemic

Delaware was an outlier. The nation’s first state is also the fifth most densely populated, with 512 people per square mile. Still, the state experienced a population increase large enough to exceed one million. A possible reason could be an exodus of people fleeing Washington, D.C.


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