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North Carolina Takes No. 9 Spot In List Of Largest States

Charlotte, N.C., the state's largest city
James Willamor
Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina has moved up in the rankings of the largest states in the U.S.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its newest population estimates Tuesday.  They say North Carolina has overtaken Michigan to become the ninth-largest state.  As of July, North Carolina's population was just shy of 10 million. 

State demographer Jennifer Song says the nature of the growth shows North Carolina remains an attractive state for retirees and new professionals.

"It's fairly consistent during the last few years that about 40 percent of the growth is from natural increase, which is more births than deaths, and about 60 percent of the growth is coming from people moving into the state," Song says.

Song says North Carolina's growth rate is still higher than most states.

"We were the 16th-fastest growing state last year, and when you consider that we're also one of the biggest, that would mean we are growing significantly faster than average."

She expects North Carolina to pass the 10 million mark early next year. Estimates for counties and municipalities are due out in the Spring.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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