In 2040, it is anticipated that eight states will have just under half of the total population of the country, 49.5 percent, according to the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service of the University of Virginia, which analyzed U.S. Census Bureau population projections. Connecticut is not one of them. A report published in the Washington Post also indicated that the next eight most populous states will account for an additional fifth of the population, up to 69.2 percent — meaning that the 16 most populous states will be home to about 70 percent of Americans.
Geographically, the Post reports, most of those 16 states will be on or near the East Coast. Only three — Arizona, Texas and Colorado — will be west of the Mississippi and not on the West Coast.
The eight states expected to dominate the population numbers, with nearly half the nation’s residents, are California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The next eight, which will include 20 percent of the population, are Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington.
Connecticut is one of 34 states in which the remaining 30 percent of the nation’s population will reside.
The projections by the Weldon Cooper Center for Connecticut’s population are: 3,606,144 in 2020; 3,634,820 in 2030; 3,585,765 in 2040.
In previous populaton analysis, the Center has noted that the U.S. population is expected to reach 383 million by 2040, but the rate of growth is projected to slow down from nearly 10 percent over the 2000-2010 decade to 6 percent between 2030-2040. Similar trends are also expected from most states.
The geographic distribution of the nation’s overall growing population also reflects geographic shifts. Back in 2000, six of the top ten largest states belonged to the North. By 2040, five of the top ten are expected to be in the South. The slowing down of the northern states growth, along with rapid population growth in the south and west, means that over time the country will become more Southern and Western, the Center indicates.
The fastest growth is projected to take place in Washington D.C., Texas, Colorado, Utah, and Florida. As noted above, the Connecticut population is expected to drop between 2030 and 2040. Also expected to see population declines in that decade are Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Viginia.