Newly released figures from the 2010 U.S. Census show that Iowa’s population grew to 3,046,355 (up 4.1% from the last census in 2000).
Census data is important because it determines how the 435 U.S. House of Representatives seats are allocated among the states. Because Iowa’s population did not grow as quickly as some other states, Iowa will lose one of its 5 House seats. See the following article on how House seats are allocated: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/12/26/a_house_poorly_divided/
Population growth is also an important economic indicator. States with very low population growth (or population losses) may have declining industries or poor job prospects. States with very high population growth may face higher unemployment unless jobs are available for all of the new residents moving to the state.
There will be much discussion in the coming months regarding population growth rates, unemployment, and tax rates as states seek to adopt legislative policies to remain competitive. Tax cuts will be a likely topic of discussion as a means to entice population growth. However, tax cuts without complimentary policies to increase jobs are likely to prove ineffective in terms of population growth and could result in higher state government deficits.
Dallas County, in west-central Iowa, continued to be among the fastest growing counties in the country (see article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/who-story-iowa-census-032410,0,2483477.story)
For more information on U.S. state population growth, consult the following interactive map of 2010 Census data: