North Carolina 5th fastest growing

December 21, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
New numbers out Monday from the U.S. Census Bureau show North Carolina is the fifth fastest growing state in the nation. It picked up 2 percent population growth between July of 2007 and July 2008 - or about 181,000 residents.Utah is the nation's fastest growing. Its population climbed 2.5 percent to 2.7 million. Arizona, Texas, and Colorado round out the top five.

The only two states to lose population were Michigan and Rhode Island.

California is the most populous state, with about 36.8 million people. It's followed by Texas (24.3 million), New York (19.5 million), Florida (18.3 million) and Illinois (12.9 million).

Nationwide, Northeastern states have gained population at an increasing rate since 2005. That's a turnaround from their declining growth rates between 2000 and 2005.