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Nebraska added nearly 11,700 people from July 1, 2017-July 1, 2018.

Nebraska continues to slowly creep toward the 2 million mark in population.

New Census figures released Wednesday show the Cornhusker State added 11,693 people from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, and now sits at 1,929,268 people.

That was a growth rate of 0.61 percent, the same as last year, and right at the national average, ranking 21st among all the states.

David Drozd, research coordinator at the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said the state's continued population growth that's in line with the nation as a whole is a positive thing when it comes to congressional representation.

"With Nebraska again having an annual growth rate near the U.S. average, it is now almost certain that (the state) will keep its current three congressional seats after the 2020 census," he said in an email.

Drozd said various population scenarios he ran would put Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District seat at about the 420th position out of 435 House Districts in 2020.

"So we have a lot of room to 'spare' and little time remaining in the decade for population trends to change locally or nationally," he said.

Drozd said that while the overall population trend remains positive for Nebraska, one negative in the past year was the pace of domestic migration.

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The state saw a net of 3,314 more people leave the state than moved in from other states. That was the second-highest number this decade, Drozd said.

He attributed that largely to large job cuts at major employers in the state.

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"The recent deterioration was expected given the job-related impacts of major employers such as ConAgra, Cabela’s, and the closing of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant, among others," Drozd said.

He pointed out that the number of people moving to Nebraska from outside the U.S. continues to outpace domestic outmigration, meaning net migration remains positive, with more people overall moving into rather than out of the state.

Nevada and Idaho tied for the fastest growth at 2.1 percent, and most of the other fastest-growing states were in the West — Utah, Arizona and Washington. Nine states lost population.

Overall, Nebraska continues to rank 37th in population among all states, immediately behind New Mexico and ahead of West Virginia.

Among neighboring states, only Colorado (1.4 percent) and South Dakota (1 percent) grew at a faster rate than Nebraska.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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