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2010.01.04 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Census: Nebraska Growing, Growth Rate Closest to U.S. Since ‘61

Omaha - Population estimates for 2009 released Dec. 23 by the U.S. Census Bureau show Nebraska’s population increased by 14,670 persons (or 0.82 percent) from July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009, according to David Drozd of the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

Nearly 1.8 million residents now call Nebraska home (1,796,619). The annual rate of growth in the U.S. stood at 0.86 percent, marking the first time since the early 1960s that Nebraska’s growth rate was nearly identical to the growth rate in the entire country.

Only five times since 1900 has the Nebraska population change rate exceeded that of the U.S. Being nearly equal to the U.S. rate shows that Nebraska’s population growth in 2008-09 was exceptionally strong, Drozd said.

Nebraska’s growth rate also exceeded rates in Kansas and Iowa, which increased 0.76 and 0.46 percent, respectively. Nebraska’s growth rate ranked 24th in the nation, while Kansas and Iowa ranked 25th and 40th. Growth in the Midwest was in stark contract to declines occurring in Michigan, Maine and Rhode Island. Nebraska continues to grow due to a natural increase, with births exceeding deaths by about 11,000 annually.

While births are on the rise in the state, the natural change has held quite steady in recent years. Conversely, the net movement of persons into and out of the state has varied, with 2009 showing a net inmigration of 2,000 persons.

This was the first net inmigration of persons thus far this decade, as more residents from other states harder hit by the economic and housing downturns came to Nebraska, while fewer Nebraskans left the state for typical destinations like Florida, Nevada and Missouri. Nebraska continues to attract residents from abroad, with about 3,000 moving to the state between 2008 and 2009, similar to prior years.

For more information, contact Drozd at ddrozd@unomaha.edu or (402) 554-2132.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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