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Census figures show North Carolina, South Carolina are among the fastest-growing states

Associated Press

RALEIGH — New census estimates show that North Carolina and South Carolina are among states with the biggest population increases in 2017.

The census data released in late December shows that North Carolina held onto its spot as the ninth most populous state with nearly 10.3 million people.

It ranks just behind Georgia and just ahead of Michigan.

It also ranks fifth in terms of numeric growth, picking up about 117,000 residents between 2016 and 2017.

South Carolina has topped 5 million residents after gaining nearly 65,000 new residents.

That ranks South Carolina 10th by numeric growth.

The data was collected for the year ending July 1, 2017, and analyzed over the past few months.

Overall, the U.S. population grew by about 2 million people for the year, with the South and West leading in growth.

Idaho grew the fastest by percentage increase, while Wyoming had the largest percentage decrease in population.

North Carolina has picked up about 738,000 residents since 2010.

Charlotte remains North Carolina’s largest city with about 842,000 residents, ranking it No. 17 nationally.

South Carolina has added nearly 400,000 to its population since 2010.

Data from earlier this year shows that Charleston has caught Columbia and edged it as the most populous city in the state. Charleston has 134,385 residents in the latest census estimate, or 76 more people than South Carolina’s capital.

By comparison, Columbia had an edge of about 9,000 residents in 2010.

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