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PHOENIX-Arizona set the pace for growth during the past decade for western states, growing in population by 40% to top more than 5.13 million.

While the nation grew by more than 13% during the past decade, according to figures just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Arizona, along with several other warm-weather southern and western states grew more than twice as fast.

Arizona was No. 2 on the list of states to grow the most in terms of percentage change. Arizona grew by 40% during the 1990s, second only to Nevada, which grew by 66.3%. Finishing out the top five growing states were other western states: Colorado, 30.6%; Utah , 29.6%; and Idaho, 28.5%.

Arizona also made the list of states that grew in terms of number of people. During the decade Arizona’s population increased by 1.465 million people, or about 146,500 new residents annually. The population rose from 3.665 million to more than 5.13 million.

Arizona is now the 20th largest state by population in the nation, up four spots from 10 years ago. Arizona was the only state to make the top five in both increase in percentage and number of people.

The figures from the Census confirmed a decade-long shift in population from the North and Midwest to the South and West.

As a result of the new census count, Arizona will gain two more seats in the House of Representatives for a total of eight.

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