We learned this week the nation’s population estimate surpassed 300-Million for the first time. Iowa’s not doing as much as a lot of other states to drive that increase, though we are growing in size according to Beth Henning, coordinator of the state Data Center Program at the State Library of Iowa.
The closest Iowa population estimate she has is about two-point-9-Million, and Henning says that’s been pretty steady for the last few years. In the last five years, she says, the state’s population has grown by just one-point-four percent, compared to a five-point-3-percent national rate. Still, the raw numbers look like a lot — the annual equivalent of the population of Iowa City is added to the state census every year.
Every day we add about 172 new Iowans and every year she says we add about 62-thousand new Iowans. While there’s some debate over whether the 300-millionth new American was a newborn child or a newly-arrived immigrant, Henning says Iowa’s population isn’t being swelled by the number of people moving to the state.
About 37-thousand people are born in the state every year and around 27-thousand die, while Iowa sees five-thousand people migrate to the state from other countries. Every year we also lose between seven and eight-thousand people who migrate to other states. It’s not clear how many move to other countries.
Henning says we can’t tell where people are moving to when they leave, and in fact the numbers shown by census data are really just “net numbers.” We don’t really see how many are moving out, she explains, just the net change between the total number moving out — and moving in. On the last date shown in the census, July 1, 2005, she says Iowa ranked 30th in the nation in total population.