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US population growth slows to lowest rate in more than 70 years

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The US population grew by just 2.26 million in the 12 months leading to July 1st 2013, according to estimated figures released by the Census Bureau. That represents a 0.72 percent year-over-year increase, which the New York Times reports is the lowest rate in "over seven decades."

An aging population is to blame for the continually slowing rise — the rate been gently falling, and has been below 0.75 percent since 2011. Compared to global population growth, which is currently estimated at 1.1 percent, the US is slower, but it remains faster than much of Europe and China. The Census Bureau estimates a child will be born every 8 seconds in the US this January, while someone will die every 12 seconds.

Florida is likely to overtake New York to become the third-largest state

Internally, the population of the US continues to gravitate towards the south and west. California and Texas remain the most populous states, with New York third, but Florida is now less than 100,000 people behind New York, and if current trends continue it's expected to become the nation's third-largest state by population in 2014. On average, northern and eastern states grew by 0.5 percent, while states in the south and west grew by around 1 percent. New York grew by just 0.38 percent.