The numbers have been crunched and the results are in. The 2020 Census reported that the United States grew at a healthy rate over the last decade, with much of the growth concentrated in the West and the South. Emphasizing the regions’ explosive growth rates, Texas, Utah, Idaho and Nevada led the nation, representing four of the top five fastest-growing states. For Nevada, the last decade was not just marked by strong population growth but also by shifting demographic profiles, particularly related to the state’s racial and ethnic diversity.

Over the past decade, Nevada was one of the fastest-growing states as its population grew by 15.0 percent from 2.7 million to 3.1 million inhabitants. The state’s growth rate was the fifth-highest in the nation, continuing Nevada’s decades-long growth trend. However, the 2020 Census marked the first time since 1960 that the state was not ranked first in population growth over the prior decade. When considering just the western region, Nevada’s growth rate rose to third overall behind Utah (+18.4 percent) and Idaho (+17.3 percent). In absolute terms, Nevada’s population increased by 404,100, the 17th-largest among all states and seventh-largest in the western region. Texas reported the largest absolute growth as its population increased by 4.0 million. West Virginia, Illinois and Mississippi were the only states to lose population.

Nearly the entirety of Nevada’s population growth, just under 93.9 percent, fell within Clark and Washoe counties. Clark County’s population grew by 314,200 over the decade, rising to 2.3 million residents, while Washoe County’s population increased by 65,100 to 486,500 over the same period. Compared to their peers in the western region, Clark County and Washoe County reported some of the largest absolute population gains, ranking third and 32nd out of the 449 western counties. Clark and Washoe counties ranked 44th and 50th, respectively, when considering their percentage increase rather than absolute increase – primarily due to distortions from smaller counties. Among larger counties with populations greater than 250,000, Clark County and Washoe County ranked significantly higher in the region. Clark County ranked 14th with a 16.1 percent population growth rate, and Washoe County ranked 18th with a 15.4 percent population growth rate.

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