The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual state population estimates Monday, reporting Iowa gained more than 15,400 residents last year. Iowa’s population grew by just a touch over half-a-percent in 12 months.
Tina Hoffman, with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, says the state’s businesses would like to see that growth rate edge higher in years to come. “We need to make sure that we have the skilled workers here who can be successful in the jobs of tomorrow. So, adding to our population…is encouraging and good for Iowa businesses,” Hoffman says.
The half-a-percent growth rate is seen as a good thing because it’s a higher rate than previous years. “Certainly, there have been lots of conversations on the need to recruit more families to Iowa to take advantage of the opportunities out here…to make sure that we do have the population to support the jobs being created here,” Hoffman says.
Iowa’s population last year grew at a faster rate than neighboring states Illinois and Missouri, but slower than Minnesota and Nebraska. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates cover the time period from July 2012 to July 2013. The latest estimate pegs Iowa’s population at 3,090,416. Every state surrounding Iowa saw small population growth.
Population gains were three times as large in the west and southwest portions of the country — compared to the Midwest.