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 , 2016 Rank in all states & territories, 2010 State or territory Population estimate, July 1, 2016 [79] Census population, April 1, 2010 Total seats in House of Representatives, 2013–2023 Estimated pop. per House seat, 2016 Census pop. per House seat, 2010 Percent of total U.S. pop., 2016
1 1
Image
Map of population change in U.S. states from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013
39,250,01737,252,895 53738,581702,90512.15% 2 2 Texas 27,862,59625,146,105 36763,031698,4878.62% 3 4 Florida 20,612,43918,804,623 27750,788696,3456.38% 4 3 New York 19,745,28919,378,087 27733,177717,7076.11% 5 5 Illinois 12,801,53912,831,549 18714,444712,8133.96% 6 6 Pennsylvania 12,784,22712,702,887 18711,250705,6883.96% 7 7 Ohio 11,614,37311,536,725 16725,839721,0323.59% 8 9 Georgia 10,310,3719,688,681 14729,633691,9753.19% 9 10 North Carolina 10,146,7889,535,692 13772,523733,4983.14% 10 8 Michigan 9,928,3009,884,129 14708,755705,9743.07% 11 11 New Jersey 8,944,4698,791,936 12746,501732,6582.77% 12 12 Virginia 8,411,8088,001,045 11762,090727,3662.60% 13 13 Washington 7,288,0006,724,543 10717,035672,4542.26% 14 16 Arizona 6,931,0716,392,307 9758,674710,2242.15% 15 14 Massachusetts 6,811,7796,547,817 9754,936727,5142.11% 16 17 Tennessee 6,651,1946,346,275 9733,367705,1232.06% 17 15 Indiana 6,633,0536,484,229 9735,520720,4222.05% 18 18 Missouri 6,093,0005,988,927 8760,459748,6151.89% 19 19 Maryland 6,016,4475,773,785 8750,800721,6941.86% 20 20 Wisconsin 5,778,7085,687,289 8721,417710,8731.79% 21 22 Colorado 5,540,5455,029,324 7779,511720,7041.72% 22 21 Minnesota 5,519,9525,303,925 8686,199662,9911.71% 23 24 South Carolina 4,961,1194,625,401 7699,449660,7661.54% 24 23 Alabama 4,863,3004,780,127 7694,140682,8191.51% 25 25 Louisiana 4,681,6664,533,479 6778,454755,5621.45% 26 26 Kentucky 4,436,9744,339,349 6737,515723,2281.37% 27 27 Oregon 4,093,4653,831,073 5805,795766,2151.27% 28 28 Oklahoma 3,923,5613,751,616 5782,268750,2701.21% 29 30 Connecticut 3,576,4523,574,118 5718,177714,8191.11% 29 Puerto Rico 3,411,3073,726,1571 ( non-voting )——1.06% 30 31 Iowa 3,134,6933,046,869 4780,975761,5890.97% 31 35 Utah 3,051,2172,763,888 4748,083690,2210.94% 32 32 Mississippi 2,988,7262,968,103 4748,083741,8240.93% 33 33 Arkansas 2,988,2482,915,958 4744,551728,9800.93% 34 36 Nevada 2,940,0582,700,691 4722,711675,1100.91% 35 34 Kansas 2,907,2892,853,132 4727,910713,2800.90% 36 37 New Mexico 2,081,0152,059,192 3695,036686,3930.64% 37 39 Nebraska 1,907,1161,826,341 3632,063608,7800.59% 38 38 West Virginia 1,831,1021,853,011 3614,709617,6650.57% 39 40 Idaho 1,683,1401,567,652 2827,465783,7910.52% 40 41 Hawaii 1,428,5571,360,301 2715,802680,1510.44% 41 43 New Hampshire 1,334,7951,316,466 2665,304658,2350.41% 42 42 Maine 1,331,4791,328,361 2664,664664,1810.41% 43 44 Rhode Island 1,056,4261,052,931 2528,149526,2840.33% 44 45 Montana 1,042,520989,417 11,032,949989,4150.32% 45 46 Delaware 952,065897,936 1952,065897,9340.30% 46 47 South Dakota 865,454814,191 1858,469814,1800.27% 47 49 North Dakota 757,952672,591 1756,927672,5910.24% 48 48 Alaska 741,894710,249 1741,894710,2310.23% 51 District of Columbia 681,170601,7671 ( non-voting )——0.21% 49 50 Vermont 624,594625,745 1626,042625,7410.19% 50 52 Wyoming 585,501563,767 1586,107563,6260.18% 53 Guam 161,785159,358 [10] 1 ( non-voting )——0.06% 54 U.S. Virgin Islands 103,574106,405 [3] 1 ( non-voting )——0.04% 55 American Samoa 54,34355,519 [10] 1 ( non-voting )——0.01% 56 Northern Mariana Islands 52,34453,883 [25] 1 ( non-voting )——0.00% 59 Wake Island 1883820——0.00% 58 Johnston Atoll 401,1000——0.00% 57 Midway Atoll 752,2200——0.00% 60 Palmyra Atoll 20n/a0——0.00% Contiguous United States 320,975,339306,687,555432 (+ 1 non-voting )——98.18% The fifty states 322,464,620308,156,338435737,348708,37698.48% Fifty states + D.C. 323,145,790308,758,105435 (+ 1 non-voting )——98.67% Total U.S. territory 326,929,143312,913,872435 (+ 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
Rank 2013
population
Rank 2010
population
Rank 2000
population
Rank 2000-
2010
change
Geographic
sort
Massachusetts 14 6,692,824 14 6,547,629 13 6,349,097 43 3.1% NEng
Connecticut 29 3,596,080 29 3,574,097 29 3,405,565 35 4.9% NEng
Maine 41 1,328,302 41 1,328,361 40 1,274,923 39 4.2% NEng
New Hampshire 42 1,323,459 42 1,316,470 41 1,235,786 32 6.5% NEng
Rhode Island 43 1,051,511 43 1,052,567 43 1,048,319 49 0.4% NEng
Vermont 49 626,630 49 625,741 49 608,827 44 2.8% NEng
New England 9 14,618,806 9 14,444,865 9 13,922,517 7 3.8% NEast
New York 3 19,651,127 3 19,378,102 3 18,976,457 46 2.1% MAtl
Pennsylvania 6 12,773,801 6 12,702,379 6 12,281,054 41 3.4% MAtl
New Jersey 11 8,899,339 11 8,791,894 9 8,414,350 37 4.5% MAtl
Mid-Atlantic 4 41,324,267 4 40,872,375 4 39,671,861 8 3.0% NEast
Northeast 4 55,943,073 4 55,317,240 4 53,594,378 4 3.2% USA
Florida 4 19,552,860 4 18,801,310 4 15,982,378 8 17.6% SAtl
Georgia 8 9,992,167 9 9,687,653 10 8,186,453 7 18.3% SAtl
North Carolina 10 9,848,060 10 9,535,483 11 8,049,313 6 18.5% SAtl
Virginia 12 8,260,405 12 8,001,024 12 7,078,515 16 13.0% SAtl
Maryland 19 5,928,814 19 5,773,552 19 5,296,486 23 9.0% SAtl
South Carolina 24 4,774,839 24 4,625,364 26 4,012,012 10 15.3% SAtl
West Virginia 38 1,854,304 37 1,852,994 37 1,808,344 45 2.5% SAtl
Delaware 45 925,749 45 897,934 45 783,600 11 14.6% SAtl
District of Columbia -- 646,449 -- 601,723 -- 572,059 -- 5.2% SAtl
South Atlantic 1 61,783,647 1 59,777,037 1 51,769,160 3 15.5% South
Tennessee 17 6,495,978 17 6,346,105 16 5,689,283 19 11.5% ESC
Alabama 23 4,833,722 23 4,779,736 23 4,447,100 27 7.5% ESC
Kentucky 26 4,395,295 26 4,339,367 25 4,041,769 28 7.4% ESC
Mississippi 31 2,991,207 31 2,967,297 31 2,844,658 38 4.3% ESC
East South Central 8 18,716,202 8 18,432,505 8 17,022,810 5 8.3% South
Texas 2 26,448,193 2 25,145,561 2 20,851,820 5 20.6% WSC
Louisiana 25 4,625,470 25 4,533,372 22 4,468,976 48 1.4% WSC
Oklahoma 28 3,850,568 28 3,751,351 27 3,450,654 24 8.7% WSC
Arkansas 32 2,959,373 32 2,915,918 33 2,673,400 22 9.1% WSC
West South Central 5 37,883,604 5 36,346,202 5 31,444,850 2 15.6% South
South 1 118,383,453 1 114,555,744 1 100,236,820 1 14.3% USA
Illinois 5 12,882,135 5 12,830,632 5 12,419,293 42 3.3% ENC
Ohio 7 11,570,808 7 11,536,504 7 11,353,140 47 1.6% ENC
Michigan 9 9,895,622 8 9,883,640 8 9,938,444 50 -0.6% ENC
Indiana 16 6,570,902 15 6,483,802 14 6,080,485 31 6.6% ENC
Wisconsin 20 5,742,713 20 5,686,986 18 5,363,675 34 6.0% ENC
East North Central 3 46,662,180 3 46,421,564 2 45,155,037 9 2.8% MWest
Missouri 18 6,044,171 18 5,988,927 17 5,595,211 29 7.0% WNC
Minnesota 21 5,420,380 21 5,303,925 21 4,919,479 26 7.8% WNC
Iowa 30 3,090,416 30 3,046,355 30 2,926,324 40 4.1% WNC
Kansas 34 2,893,957 33 2,853,118 32 2,688,418 33 6.1% WNC
Nebraska 37 1,868,516 38 1,826,341 38 1,711,263 30 6.7% WNC
South Dakota 46 844,877 46 814,180 46 754,844 25 7.9% WNC
North Dakota 48 723,393 48 672,591 47 642,200 36 4.7% WNC
West North Central 7 20,885,710 7 20,505,437 6 19,237,739 6 6.6% MWest
Midwest 3 67,547,890 3 66,927,001 2 64,392,776 3 3.9% USA
Arizona 15 6,626,624 16 6,392,017 20 5,130,632 2 24.6% Mtn
Colorado 22 5,268,367 22 5,029,196 24 4,301,261 9 16.9% Mtn
Utah 33 2,900,872 34 2,763,885 34 2,233,169 3 23.8% Mtn
Nevada 35 2,790,136 35 2,700,551 35 1,998,257 1 35.1% Mtn
New Mexico 36 2,085,287 36 2,059,179 36 1,819,046 15 13.2% Mtn
Idaho 39 1,612,136 39 1,567,582 39 1,293,953 4 21.1% Mtn
Montana 44 1,015,165 44 989,415 44 902,195 21 9.7% Mtn
Wyoming 50 582,658 50 563,626 50 493,782 12 14.1% Mtn
Mountain 6 22,881,245 6 22,065,451 7 18,172,295 1 21.4% West
California 1 38,332,521 1 37,253,956 1 33,871,648 20 10.0% Pac
Washington 13 6,971,406 13 6,724,540 15 5,894,121 13 14.1% Pac
Oregon 27 3,930,065 27 3,831,074 28 3,421,399 18 12.0% Pac
Hawaii 40 1,404,054 40 1,360,301 42 1,211,537 17 12.3% Pac
Alaska 47 735,132 47 710,231 48 626,932 14 13.3% Pac
Pacific 2 51,373,178 2 49,880,102 3 45,025,637 4 10.8% West
West 2 74,254,423 2 71,945,553 3 63,197,932 2 13.8% USA
50 states and D.C. -- 316,128,839 -- 308,745,538 -- 281,421,906 -- 9.7% NAmer
Puerto Rico 1 3,615,086 1 3,725,789 1 3,808,610 3 -2.2% Terr.
Guam 2 -- 2 159,358 2 154,805 1 2.9% Terr.
U.S. Virgin Islands 3 -- 3 106,405 3 108,612 2 -2.0% Terr.
American Samoa 4 -- 4 55,519 5 57,291 4 -3.1% Terr.
Northern Mariana Islands 5 -- 5 53,883 4 69,221 5 -22.2% Terr.
Total Territories -- -- -- 4,100,954 -- 4,198,539 -- -2.3% USA

See also