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North Dakota population grew faster than other states: Census

(Reuters) - North Dakota's population grew faster than that of any other state in the year to July as the oil production boom that has transformed its economy continued to draw people, the Census Bureau said on Thursday.

The bureau said in its state population estimates that North Dakota's population grew nearly 2.2 percent between July 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012 - nearly three times faster than the nation as a whole.

But North Dakota's population of 699,628 remains smaller than every other state except Vermont and Wyoming.

Texas gained more new residents than any other state during the year, the bureau said. The state added 427,400 people in the year to July 1, 2012, a 1.7 percent year-over-year increase.

The overall population of the United States grew 0.75 percent during the year, the Census Bureau said, increasing by 2.3 million to 313.9 million.

Only two states - Rhode Island and Vermont - lost population during the period, the Census Bureau said.

California remained the most populous state in the country with 38 million people, the Census Bureau said, followed by Texas (26.1 million), New York (19.6 million), Florida (19.3 million) and Illinois (12.9 million).

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Greg McCune and Steve Orlofsky)

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