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NDakota Tops US Fastest-Growing Micro Areas

The U.S. Census Bureau has released a list of the fastest-growing micro areas in the nation between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, and three of the top 10 are located in North Dakota, with Williston, N.D., in the top spot.

North Dakota has seen rapid growth because of oil-drilling boom going on there. The local paper, the Williston Herald, notes that the census doesn't even count people living in temporary shelter.   "There are 10,000 people living in man camps in Williams County alone, and well more than a thousand households have been built in the last two years," the paper reported.

Among the top 50 fastest-growing micro areas, New Mexico contained more micro areas than any other state: Gallup (11th), Portales (12th), Alamogordo (13th), Clovis (15th), Grants (34th) and Los Alamos (42nd).

Not one of the aforementioned areas was among the 50 fastest-growing micro areas between 2000 and 2010, which speaks to the changes in population growth in the last 12 years.

"Our nation is constantly changing, and these estimates provide us with our first measure of how much substate areas have grown or declined in total population since Census Day, April 1, 2010," Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. "We're already seeing different patterns of population growth than we saw in the last decade."

The second spot went to The Villages, a retirement community in and around Sumter County in central Florida. In 2000, The Villages had 8,333 residents - now it has 97,756.

The 10 Fastest Growing Micro Areas from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

1. Williston, N.D. (8.8 percent increase)

2. The Villages, Fla. (4.6 percent increase)

3. Andrews, Texas (4.5 percent increase)

4. Dickinson, N.D. (4.0 percent increase)

5. Dunn, N.C. (4.0 percent increase)

6. Statesboro, Ga. (3.8 percent increase)

7. Heber, Utah  (3.8 percent increase)

8. Minot, N.D. (3.6 percent increase)

9. Tifton, Ga. (3.3 percent increase)

10. Guymon, Okla. (3.3 percent increase)

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