2020 Census: The Fastest Growing States in the U.S.

The U.S. Census Bureau has recently released the first round of data from the 2020 Census, giving Americans a look into changes in the nation’s population over the last ten years. The U.S. population grew by about 22 million since 2010. While most states experienced growth during that time, some have expanded more rapidly than others.

Many factors can influence changes in population, including birth rates, cost of living, employment opportunities, and more. Some people may also relocate to find a new home within a state more suited to their lifestyle.

Most of the states attracting new residents and leading the population boom are located in the West (like Utah, Idaho, and Nevada), or in the South (such as Texas, Florida, and South Carolina). The Midwest region had the slowest growth with the exception of North Dakota, which found a spot on this list. Here are the fastest-growing states in the U.S., according to the 2020 Census.

1. Utah

Coming in at number one on the list is Utah, a state known for its incredible natural wonders and outdoor recreation. From 2010 to 2020, Utah added over 507,000 people to its population, an 18.4% increase.

As for real estate trends, the median listing price of homes rose as well. In July 2016, the median listing price was nearly $330,000; by July 2021, that figure had risen to $595,000. But while prices shot up, inventory went way down from 13,543 to 4,854 homes. During that same five-year period, the number of days houses spent on the market decreased by over half.

2. Idaho

Famous for its potatoes, Idaho is a state with thriving agricultural and mining industries. Also, thriving is its population growth, with over 270,000 people choosing to make Idaho their home in the last decade, an increase of 17.3%. But because over half of the state is land owned by the state and federal government, there are only so many places where people can settle down in Idaho.

Following the current market trend, housing prices in Idaho have jumped over the last five years. The median listing price of a home in July 2016 was $260,000, but by July 2021 that price had increased to almost $550,000. Inventory dropped by 67% and homes are now selling much faster than before, on average only 28 days on the market.

3. Texas

The Lone Star State comes in third for the fastest-growing states in the U.S., growing its population by 15.9% over the last decade. But, if we go by the total number of people, Texas would top the list with its population growing by nearly 4,000,000 people.

According to United Van Lines’ National Mover Study, most people come to Texas for a new job thanks to the recent boom in the state’s construction, energy, and technology industries. Many land in major cities like Austin, which also made the list of fastest-growing metros in the U.S.

The Texas real estate market has grown along with its population. Over the last five years, listing prices have gone up by 25%. In July 2021, the median listing price for a home in Texas was $349,900. But homes are selling fast! On average, homes go under contract within 35 days — that’s 26 days faster than in July 2016, according to Realtor.com.

4. North Dakota

North Dakota is one of the least populous states in the country, but it’s added over 106,000 people to its population over the last decade. This upper Midwest state brings in a lot of people for jobs in agriculture, energy, and petroleum and consistently boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

While the state’s population grew by 15.8% from 2010 to 2020, few areas are densely populated. The state’s real estate market has remained steady over the last few years, with the median listing price for a home in North Dakota growing by only 6.9% to $262,000 over the last five years.

5. Nevada

Nevada has welcomed over 400,000 people to its population in the last decade, an increase of 15%. Vivek Sah, a real estate professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, speculates that a lot of people, especially from California, have moved to Nevada because there is no state income tax, fewer natural disasters, and a relatively low cost of living.

Like most other states on this list, the average listing price of homes has shot up in the last five years. Starting at nearly $300,000 in 2016 to over $427,000 in 2021, the median listing price of homes in Nevada has risen by about 30%. Both real estate inventory and the days a home is on the market have dropped by over half, meaning that demand will likely continue rising in the Silver State.

6. Colorado

Colorado was the sixth fastest-growing state over the last ten years, boosting its population by 14.8%. Many people moved to Colorado for the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains, 300 days of sunshine each year, and its endless recreational opportunities.

But Colorado was also the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, bringing even more people to the state both for access and entrepreneurial opportunities. This also sparked a real estate surge in the state. One study found that home values in Denver have increased by 67.8% since the city opened its first dispensary in 2014.

Across the state, the median listing price is now $579,900 and homes continue to fly off the market — averaging just 30 days before going under contract. All signs indicated that both Colorado’s population and home prices will continue to grow, making a great time to begin your career as a Colorado real estate agent!

7. Florida 

Over the last decade, Florida grew by 14.6%. The country’s third-largest state added over 2.7 million people to its population. Many people flock to this southern state for its sandy beaches and year-round warmth.

The Sunshine State continues to be a popular destination for retirees, who made up over 39% of people moving to the state last year according to United Van Lines. This trend also landed The Villages, a large retirement community outside of Orlando, atop the 2020 Census’ fastest-growing cities list.

Florida’s real estate market has also grown with its population. Since 2016, home values have gone up by $89,000 on average. At the same time, fewer people are trying to sell right now. July 2021 saw only 55,000 new listings — down 61% from July 2016. This low inventory has buyers fighting for fewer homes, which will likely continue driving up home sale prices.

8. Washington

Washington is the eighth-fastest growing state according to the 2020 U.S. Census. With people moving to the consistently mild climate and beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest, Washington’s population grew 14.6% since 2010.

However, Washington has seen one of the biggest housing booms in the country. The median listing price in the state is now $580,000 — up 68% since 2016! And, even though more people are moving to the state, fewer people are putting their homes on the market. These trends are quickly solidifying Washington’s place as one of the most expensive states to live in. If you're thinking about earning your Washington real estate license, now's the perfect time. This historic growth could help you launch your new career. 

9. Arizona 

Arizona's population has grown close to 12% between 2010 and 2020, according to the Census. More than 700,000 new jobs will be added by 2030, and Phoenix just overtook Philadelphia as the fifth-largest city in the United States. 

These factors all led to a boom in the real estate market, with Arizona home values increasing a whopping 31% year-over-year between 2020 and 2021. Great weather, job growth, and a relatively low cost of living have all contributed to a steady influx of people to Arizona from other states, most notably from California

Arizona has always been a popular retirement and snowbird destination, and that trend seems no sign of slowing. Super Bowl 2023 will be held in Glendale, Arizona, and visitors will likely choose to invest in vacation homes or make decisions to relocate. That's why now is a great time to become a real estate agent in Arizona. The market is highly competitive, but well-skilled agents can earn a significant income.

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These eight states have boomed over the last decade -- and trends indicate that they'll continue to grow! As more people move there, the demand for housing will just get bigger. Everyone moving to these states will need a place to live. Many will turn to a real estate agent to help them buy a house, while many current residents hope to cash in on the real estate boom. 

You can launch your new real estate career and take advantage of this hot market now by earning your real estate license through one of Aceable Real Estate School's state-certified online real estate courses! Get started today. 

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*Updated 11/15/2021

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