Ohio continues to lag behind other states in terms of population growth.
The state gained only 3,218 residents last year, a miniscule 0.03 percent increase from the previous year, according to estimates the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.
That meager growth rate ranked 48th among all states and the District of Columbia. Only West Virginia, Rhode Island and Vermont were worse.
Rhode Island and Vermont actually saw their populations decline slightly.
Ohio remains the seventh largest state, with a population of 11,544,225, despite being among the slowest growers. The state’s population has risen only 1.7 percent since the 2000 census.
Steve Kelley, senior economist with the Ohio Development Services Agency, noted that neighboring states didn’t fare much better in the latest estimates. Growth rates were 0.07 in Michigan, 0.15 in Pennsylvania, 0.31 in Kentucky and 0.32 in Indiana.
He declined to speculate about the reasons for Ohio’s rate.
He said state leaders are looking forward to county and city estimates that will be released next year to examine and help explain geographic changes within the state.
North Dakota had the biggest one-year growth rate, climbing 2.2 percent to 699,628 residents.
The District of Columbia was second, up 2.1 percent to 632,323 people. Texas, Wyoming and Utah rounded out the top five.
Seven of the 10 fastest-growing states were in the South or West. North Dakota, South Dakota and the District of Columbia were the exceptions.
The new report showed Texas gained 427,425 residents — the most of any state — followed by California (357,497), Florida (235,306), Georgia (107,485) and North Carolina (100,970).
California remained the most populous state, with an estimated 38 million residents, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Overall, the country grew by 2.3 million residents or 0.7 percent. The U.S. population now stands at 313.9 million.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.