December 26, 2012

Bay State population grows while Maine's remains even

The growth isn't enough for the state to win back a seat in Congress, however.

The Associated Press

BOSTON – Massachusetts is enjoying a modest growth spurt, but not enough to win back a seat in Congress.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau numbers puts the state's population at 6,646,144, up by 98,515 individuals from April 2010.

That growth increase of 1.5 percent was double the percentage increase of the rest the Northeast as a whole. Massachusetts was followed by New York which had 1 percent growth and New Jersey which had a 0.8 percent increase.

Connecticut and Pennsylvania both recorded a growth increase of half a percent, and New Hampshire's population ticked up by 0.3 percent. Maine's and Vermont's populations held nearly even while Rhode Island recorded a decrease of 2,275 residents, a decline of 0.2 percent.

"We have some robust growth going on," Massachusetts state Secretary William Galvin said Wednesday. "We seem to be the one place in the Northeast that has some sustained growth."

Despite its relatively strong growth in the past two years, Massachusetts still is trailing the nation's population increase of 1.7 percent since 2010.

Galvin said that while the growth in Massachusetts' population is encouraging, it's probably not enough to win back a seat in Congress.

Seats in the U.S. House are apportioned based on population, and Massachusetts saw its number of House seats drop from 10 to nine in this year's election.

"We're not going to get back any congressional seats back any time soon," Galvin said.

Massachusetts' growth spurt may help the state stave off the loss of yet another seat in 2020, he said.

Massachusetts remains the 14th most populous state in the country.


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