As of April 1, 2010, the date of the 2010 United States Census, the nine most populous U.S. states contain slightly more than half of the total population. The 25 least populous states contain less than one-sixth of the total population. California, the most populous state, contains more people than the 21 least populous states combined, and Wyoming is the least populous state, with a population less than 31 most populous U.S. cities.

Methodology

The United States Census counts most persons residing in the United States including citizens, non-citizen permanent residents, and non-citizen long-term visitors.[8] Civilian and military federal employees serving abroad and their dependents are counted in their home state.[6]

Electoral apportionment

Based on data from the decennial census, each state is allocated a proportion of the 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives, although each state is guaranteed a minimum of one seat, regardless of population. This apportionment is based on the proportion of each state's population to that of the Fifty States together (without regard to the populations of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or other U.S. dependencies). The Electoral College is the body that, every four years, elects the President and Vice President of the United States. Each state's representation in the Electoral College is equal to that state's total number of members in both houses of the United States Congress. The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution effectively grants the District of Columbia, which is separate from any state, three votes. More precisely, the district gets as many votes in the Electoral College as it would have if it were a state, with the caveat that the district can have no more votes than the least populous state (which is currently Wyoming). Currently, this caveat is a moot point since the District would only be entitled to one Representative if it were a state, and is more populous than only two of the seven states with a single member in the House since 2013. Since the Constitution guarantees every state at least one Representative and guarantees every state two Senators, it effectively guarantees every state (and, since the ratification of the 23rd Amendment, the District of Columbia) at least three electoral votes. Thus, the total representation in the College is 538 members (equal to 100 senators plus 435 representatives, plus 3 members for the District of Columbia).[11]

The eleven most populous states, representing 56% of the population, currently have a majority of the Electoral College votes, enough to elect the president. These eleven states have not voted for the same candidate in any presidential election since 1984. However, 56% of the population if in agreement should be able to elect the President; that is, after all, democracy. Comparatively, the 22 least populous states, representing 12.3% of the population with approximately a half million more people than California by itself, control 99 Electoral College votes or 18.4% of the total against California's equivalent population controlling 55 Electoral College votes. This gives voters in those 22 states the ability to sway the election toward any candidate well out of proportion to their percentage of the total populace.

State information

Rank in the fifty states, 2016Rank in all states & territories, 2010State or territoryPopulation estimate, July 1, 2016[79]Census population, April 1, 2010Total seats in House of Representatives, 2013–2023Estimated pop. per House seat, 2016Census pop. per House seat, 2010Percent of total U.S. pop., 2016
11
Image
Map of population change in U.S. states from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013
39,250,01737,252,89553738,581702,90512.15%22 Texas27,862,59625,146,10536763,031698,4878.62%34 Florida20,612,43918,804,62327750,788696,3456.38%43 New York19,745,28919,378,08727733,177717,7076.11%55 Illinois12,801,53912,831,54918714,444712,8133.96%66 Pennsylvania12,784,22712,702,88718711,250705,6883.96%77 Ohio11,614,37311,536,72516725,839721,0323.59%89 Georgia10,310,3719,688,68114729,633691,9753.19%910 North Carolina10,146,7889,535,69213772,523733,4983.14%108 Michigan9,928,3009,884,12914708,755705,9743.07%1111 New Jersey8,944,4698,791,93612746,501732,6582.77%1212 Virginia8,411,8088,001,04511762,090727,3662.60%1313 Washington7,288,0006,724,54310717,035672,4542.26%1416 Arizona6,931,0716,392,3079758,674710,2242.15%1514 Massachusetts6,811,7796,547,8179754,936727,5142.11%1617 Tennessee6,651,1946,346,2759733,367705,1232.06%1715 Indiana6,633,0536,484,2299735,520720,4222.05%1818 Missouri6,093,0005,988,9278760,459748,6151.89%1919 Maryland6,016,4475,773,7858750,800721,6941.86%2020 Wisconsin5,778,7085,687,2898721,417710,8731.79%2122 Colorado5,540,5455,029,3247779,511720,7041.72%2221 Minnesota5,519,9525,303,9258686,199662,9911.71%2324 South Carolina4,961,1194,625,4017699,449660,7661.54%2423 Alabama4,863,3004,780,1277694,140682,8191.51%2525 Louisiana4,681,6664,533,4796778,454755,5621.45%2626 Kentucky4,436,9744,339,3496737,515723,2281.37%2727 Oregon4,093,4653,831,0735805,795766,2151.27%2828 Oklahoma3,923,5613,751,6165782,268750,2701.21%2930 Connecticut3,576,4523,574,1185718,177714,8191.11%29 Puerto Rico3,411,3073,726,1571 (non-voting)——1.06%3031 Iowa3,134,6933,046,8694780,975761,5890.97%3135 Utah3,051,2172,763,8884748,083690,2210.94%3232 Mississippi2,988,7262,968,1034748,083741,8240.93%3333 Arkansas2,988,2482,915,9584744,551728,9800.93%3436 Nevada2,940,0582,700,6914722,711675,1100.91%3534 Kansas2,907,2892,853,1324727,910713,2800.90%3637 New Mexico2,081,0152,059,1923695,036686,3930.64%3739 Nebraska1,907,1161,826,3413632,063608,7800.59%3838 West Virginia1,831,1021,853,0113614,709617,6650.57%3940 Idaho1,683,1401,567,6522827,465783,7910.52%4041 Hawaii1,428,5571,360,3012715,802680,1510.44%4143 New Hampshire1,334,7951,316,4662665,304658,2350.41%4242 Maine1,331,4791,328,3612664,664664,1810.41%4344 Rhode Island1,056,4261,052,9312528,149526,2840.33%4445 Montana1,042,520989,41711,032,949989,4150.32%4546 Delaware952,065897,9361952,065897,9340.30%4647 South Dakota865,454814,1911858,469814,1800.27%4749  North Dakota757,952672,5911756,927672,5910.24%4848 Alaska741,894710,2491741,894710,2310.23%51 District of Columbia681,170601,7671 (non-voting)——0.21%4950 Vermont624,594625,7451626,042625,7410.19%5052 Wyoming585,501563,7671586,107563,6260.18%53 Guam161,785159,358[10]1 (non-voting)——0.06%54 U.S. Virgin Islands103,574106,405[3]1 (non-voting)——0.04%55 American Samoa54,34355,519[10]1 (non-voting)——0.01%56 Northern Mariana Islands52,34453,883[25]1 (non-voting)——0.00%59 Wake Island1883820——0.00%58 Johnston Atoll401,1000——0.00%57 Midway Atoll752,2200——0.00%60 Palmyra Atoll20n/a0——0.00%Contiguous United States320,975,339306,687,555432 (+ 1 non-voting)——98.18%The fifty states322,464,620308,156,338435737,348708,37698.48%Fifty states + D.C.323,145,790308,758,105435 (+ 1 non-voting)——98.67%Total U.S. territory326,929,143312,913,872435 (+ 6 non-voting)——100.00%
  1. Because of rounding of the individual percentages, the entries in this column may not sum to 100%.

Summary of population by region

Legend
Division totals – 9 divisions for 50 states and D.C.
Region totals – 4 regions ( 2 or 3 divisions each)
Individual territories
Total U.S. Territories
50 States + District of Columbia
Divisions & regions as defined by U.S. Census Bureau
Last col. shows larger region which contains entity in col. 1
Population of states, territories, divisions and regions
State/Territory/
Division/Region
Rank2013
population
Rank2010
population
Rank2000
population
Rank2000-
2010
change
Geographic
sort
 Massachusetts146,692,824146,547,629136,349,097433.1%NEng
 Connecticut293,596,080293,574,097293,405,565354.9%NEng
 Maine411,328,302411,328,361401,274,923394.2%NEng
 New Hampshire421,323,459421,316,470411,235,786326.5%NEng
 Rhode Island431,051,511431,052,567431,048,319490.4%NEng
 Vermont49626,63049625,74149608,827442.8%NEng
       New England914,618,806914,444,865913,922,51773.8%NEast
 New York319,651,127319,378,102318,976,457462.1%MAtl
 Pennsylvania612,773,801612,702,379612,281,054413.4%MAtl
 New Jersey118,899,339118,791,89498,414,350374.5%MAtl
       Mid-Atlantic441,324,267440,872,375439,671,86183.0%NEast
       Northeast455,943,073455,317,240453,594,37843.2%USA
 Florida419,552,860418,801,310415,982,378817.6%SAtl
 Georgia89,992,16799,687,653108,186,453718.3%SAtl
 North Carolina109,848,060109,535,483118,049,313618.5%SAtl
 Virginia128,260,405128,001,024127,078,5151613.0%SAtl
 Maryland195,928,814195,773,552195,296,486239.0%SAtl
 South Carolina244,774,839244,625,364264,012,0121015.3%SAtl
 West Virginia381,854,304371,852,994371,808,344452.5%SAtl
 Delaware45925,74945897,93445783,6001114.6%SAtl
 District of Columbia--646,449--601,723--572,059--5.2%SAtl
       South Atlantic161,783,647159,777,037151,769,160315.5%South
 Tennessee176,495,978176,346,105165,689,2831911.5%ESC
 Alabama234,833,722234,779,736234,447,100277.5%ESC
 Kentucky264,395,295264,339,367254,041,769287.4%ESC
 Mississippi312,991,207312,967,297312,844,658384.3%ESC
       East South Central818,716,202818,432,505817,022,81058.3%South
 Texas226,448,193225,145,561220,851,820520.6%WSC
 Louisiana254,625,470254,533,372224,468,976481.4%WSC
 Oklahoma283,850,568283,751,351273,450,654248.7%WSC
 Arkansas322,959,373322,915,918332,673,400229.1%WSC
       West South Central537,883,604536,346,202531,444,850215.6%South
       South1118,383,4531114,555,7441100,236,820114.3%USA
 Illinois512,882,135512,830,632512,419,293423.3%ENC
 Ohio711,570,808711,536,504711,353,140471.6%ENC
 Michigan99,895,62289,883,64089,938,44450-0.6%ENC
 Indiana166,570,902156,483,802146,080,485316.6%ENC
 Wisconsin205,742,713205,686,986185,363,675346.0%ENC
       East North Central346,662,180346,421,564245,155,03792.8%MWest
 Missouri186,044,171185,988,927175,595,211297.0%WNC
 Minnesota215,420,380215,303,925214,919,479267.8%WNC
 Iowa303,090,416303,046,355302,926,324404.1%WNC
 Kansas342,893,957332,853,118322,688,418336.1%WNC
 Nebraska371,868,516381,826,341381,711,263306.7%WNC
 South Dakota46844,87746814,18046754,844257.9%WNC
  North Dakota48723,39348672,59147642,200364.7%WNC
       West North Central720,885,710720,505,437619,237,73966.6%MWest
       Midwest367,547,890366,927,001264,392,77633.9%USA
 Arizona156,626,624166,392,017205,130,632224.6%Mtn
 Colorado225,268,367225,029,196244,301,261916.9%Mtn
 Utah332,900,872342,763,885342,233,169323.8%Mtn
 Nevada352,790,136352,700,551351,998,257135.1%Mtn
 New Mexico362,085,287362,059,179361,819,0461513.2%Mtn
 Idaho391,612,136391,567,582391,293,953421.1%Mtn
 Montana441,015,16544989,41544902,195219.7%Mtn
 Wyoming50582,65850563,62650493,7821214.1%Mtn
       Mountain622,881,245622,065,451718,172,295121.4%West
 California138,332,521137,253,956133,871,6482010.0%Pac
 Washington136,971,406136,724,540155,894,1211314.1%Pac
 Oregon273,930,065273,831,074283,421,3991812.0%Pac
 Hawaii401,404,054401,360,301421,211,5371712.3%Pac
 Alaska47735,13247710,23148626,9321413.3%Pac
       Pacific251,373,178249,880,102345,025,637410.8%West
       West274,254,423271,945,553363,197,932213.8%USA
 50 states and D.C.--316,128,839--308,745,538--281,421,906--9.7%NAmer
 Puerto Rico13,615,08613,725,78913,808,6103-2.2%Terr.
 Guam2--2159,3582154,80512.9%Terr.
 U.S. Virgin Islands3--3106,4053108,6122-2.0%Terr.
 American Samoa4--455,519557,2914-3.1%Terr.
 Northern Mariana Islands5--553,883469,2215-22.2%Terr.
       Total Territories------4,100,954--4,198,539---2.3%USA

See also