The latest information released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows Iowa’s population continues to grow at a slow pace. The Census Bureau numbers estimate Iowa’s population at just over two-million-988 thousand as of July 1st of this year, an increase of 2.1% or about 61,000 people from 2000.

The numbers show Iowa’s population increased just half a percent or about 16,000 people from July of last year to rank it 30th overall. Iowa’s slow growth mirrors the midwest region which has grown only 3.1% since 2000. Iowa’s neighboring states saw a little more growth with Nebraska’s population up 3.7%, Wisconsin’s up 4.4%, Missouri up 5% and Minnesota nearly 6%.

The northeast is the slowest growing region at just 2% — while the South and West each grew over 10%. The overall U.S. population grew by 7.2%. If Iowa continues at its current pace of growth, the population could hit three million in 2008.