Historic geographic shifts in population growth can be seen on the map showing population change since 2010. Nonmetro population growth switched from growth to decline in 21 eastern States between 2004-06 and 2010-12. For example, most metro counties in Florida maintained above average population growth through the housing crisis and recession, but nonmetro areas switched from 3 percent growth during 2004-06 to -0.44 percent decline during 2010-12. Extensive areas of population decline also emerged along the North Carolina-Virginia border, in southern Ohio, and throughout New England. Population growth slowed considerably in the Mountain West for the first time in decades, affecting numerous counties in western Colorado and Wyoming, central Oregon, northern Idaho, and elsewhere. Spurred by an energy boom, large sections of the northern Great Plains turned around decades of population decline. Other nonmetro regions, such as in eastern Texas and parts or rural Pennsylvania, experienced population gains from energy-related job growth, but the demographic impact has been more visible in sparsely-settled regions such as the Williston Basin in western North Dakota and eastern Montana.
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