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2010.12.21 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

2010 Census: Nebraska Tops 1.8 Million Population Mark

Omaha - The first figures from the 2010 Census released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, as explained by the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), show that Nebraska is the nation’s 38th largest state. More than 1.8 million residents now call Nebraska home. The official headcount of 1,826,341 residents is Nebraska’s largest population ever recorded.

Nebraska’s population increased by 115,076 persons or 6.7 percent over the last decennial census count of 1,711,265 in 2000. While Nebraska trailed the national growth rate of 9.7 percent for the decade, it exceeded the rates in the best comparison states of Iowa and Kansas, which stood at 4.1 and 6.1 percent respectively. Nebraska’s growth rate in the 2000s ranked 30th in the nation, up from ranking 37th in the 1990s, while the 2000s growth rate in Kansas and Iowa ranked 33rd and 40th.

Nebraska will retain its current delegation of three congressional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Iowa’s relatively low population growth led to the loss of one Congressional seat – Iowa’s delegation will shrink from 5 to 4 House members for the 2012 elections. Boundaries for all Nebraska and Iowa congressional districts will be redrawn during 2011 based upon local data from the 2010 Census to be released in March.

Among other nearby states, Missouri also will lose one congressional seat while Minnesota will maintain its current 8 seats. Minnesota received the 435th and final congressional seat in the 2010 apportionment.

Nebraska continues to grow due to a natural increase, with births exceeding deaths by about 109,500 during the 2000s decade. Births have risen during the decade to levels last seen 25 years ago. The annual level of deaths has held remarkably steady, and combined with an increasing population, led to the 2000s having the lowest decade rate of deaths on record since 1930.

The other component of population change, the net movement of persons, showed a small net inmigration during the decade. While down from a 3.1 percent inmigration during the 1990s, the 0.3 percent inmigration rate for the 2000s was still the second best decade on record since 1930. The 1990s and 2000s decades are the only ones since 1930 that experienced a net inmigration.

The net inmovement of about 5,600 persons is a vast improvement versus outmigrations of more than 100,000 in each of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1980s decades. Other data sources have shown that in the last few years more people are coming to Nebraska from states harder hit by the economic and housing downturns, while fewer Nebraskans are leaving the state for typical destinations like Florida and Missouri.

Other notable items from today’s release include:

• While Nebraska was also the 38th largest state in 2000, the distance between Nebraska and the next most numerous state, West Virginia, declined considerably. West Virginia had about 97,000 more residents than Nebraska in 2000 but only about 27,000 more in 2010.

• In addition to Nebraska’s 1,826,341 residents, 5,484 overseas military and federal civilian employees (and their dependents living with them) are assigned to Nebraska and are included in the state apportionment count of 1,831,825. This apportionment count was used to determine how many seats Nebraska will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.

• The average size of Nebraska’s three congressional districts increased from 570,422 in 2000 to 608,780 in 2010. Likewise, the average size of the state’s 49 Unicameral districts grew from 34,924 in 2000 to 37,272 in the 2010 Census.

• Besides Iowa and Missouri, other states losing one congressional seat included Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, while New York and Ohio lost 2 seats each. Texas gained 4 seats and Florida gained 2, while Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington each gained one seat.

• The national growth rate of 9.7 percent for the 2000s decade was the second lowest increase in the last 11 decades – only the 7.3 percent increase during the 1930s depression was smaller than the change in the current decade.

• Michigan was the only state to lose population between 2000 and 2010. The loss of more than 54,800 persons equated to a 0.6 percent decline. Conversely, the fastest growing state was Nevada, increasing by more than 35 percent. Nevada also was the fastest growing state in the 1990s, when it increased by 66 percent.

About the Center for Public Affairs Research
The Center for Public Affairs Research is an analytical community outreach unit of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The Center leads the Nebraska State Data Center, compiling and disseminating various data for Nebraska and its communities that add to policy-making discussions.

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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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