Which State Has the Largest Population?

Quck answer

California is the state with the most people in the United States. As of 2021, it has a population of over 39 million residents. California’s large population can be attributed to its size, diverse economy, and attractive climate. It is home to major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, which contribute to its population growth. Additionally, California’s proximity to Mexico has led to a significant Hispanic population. With its booming population, California faces challenges in terms of infrastructure, housing, and resources. However, it also offers opportunities for economic growth and cultural diversity.

Have you ever felt sad? Of course, you have. We all experience sadness from time to time. When you feel sad, it’s always comforting when a friend assures you, “You’re not alone.” The next time someone tells you that, believe them!

In fact, the statement “you’re not alone” has never been more accurate here on Earth. Here are some facts and statistics that might astonish you:

  • Earth is currently inhabited by over 7 billion people. That’s correct. Billion with a “b”!
  • The world’s population increases by approximately 80 million people each year.
  • Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year, about 4.3 people are born and about 1.8 people pass away. This means that the world’s population grows by about 2.5 people every second!

Can you believe those numbers? They’re mind-boggling, aren’t they? It’s difficult for most of us to grasp the concept of 7 billion people.

Of course, those 7 billion people are spread across the Earth in various countries. If you reside in the United States, you live in the third most populous country on Earth (after China and India).

Currently, the population of the United States is well over 300 million people. However, it wasn’t always that large! Way back in 1790 — the year of the first census — the U.S. population stood at just under 4 million people.

The U.S. population had surpassed the 100 million mark by 1920 and the 200 million mark by 1970. The 300 million milestone was reached in October 2006. When will it reach 400 million? Experts estimate that the U.S. population will exceed 400 million by 2043.

So, within the United States, which state has the largest population? With over 37 million people, California holds that title. In fact, California’s population is greater than the combined population of the 21 least populous states.

Although there are 50 states, the U.S. population is not evenly distributed among them. Over half of the people in the U.S. reside in one of the 9 most populous states: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia. The 25 least populous states account for less than one-sixth of the total population.

Understanding the distribution of people within the United States can help you gain a better understanding of politics. During election time, you may have noticed that candidates spend more time in certain states. The more populous a state is, the more representatives and Electoral College votes it has. That’s why the most populous states receive the most attention during elections!

Try It Out

Ready to do some counting? Ask a friend or family member to help you explore the following activities:

Counting People

It can be an interesting exercise to determine the number of people around you. Once you start counting, you may be surprised by the numbers! How many individuals are there in your family? And what about your class? Your school? Use the U.S. Census Bureau website to research the population of your city. Then find out the population of your state. How does your state compare in terms of population with the rest of the United States?

For amusement, compare the population of the United States with other major countries worldwide. Would you like to live in China? How about India? What do you think it would be like to reside in a country with such a large population? What are some of the least populous countries in the world? Why do you think these countries have such a small number of inhabitants?

Do you plan on having children in the future? How many children do you anticipate having? If everyone your age has the same plans, what impact do you think this will have on the world’s population? Do you believe that Earth can sustain a population of eight billion people? Why or why not? What challenges will Earth face as the population continues to grow?

Useful Sources


1. Which state has the most people?

The state with the highest population in the United States is California. With over 39 million residents, California is the most populous state in the country. Its large population can be attributed to various factors such as its size, diverse economy, and desirable climate. California is home to major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, which attract people from all over the world. Additionally, the state’s booming tech industry and agricultural sector provide ample employment opportunities, further contributing to its population growth.

2. What is the population of California?

California has a population of over 39 million people. It is the most populous state in the United States, accounting for approximately 12% of the country’s total population. The state’s population has been steadily increasing over the years, fueled by factors such as immigration, higher birth rates, and people moving from other states in search of better opportunities. The diverse population of California includes individuals from various ethnic backgrounds, making it a culturally vibrant and dynamic state.

3. Are there any other states with high populations?

Yes, besides California, there are a few other states in the United States with significant populations. Texas is the second most populous state, with over 29 million residents. It is followed by Florida, which has a population of over 21 million. New York and Pennsylvania also have large populations, with approximately 20 million residents each. These states attract people due to their economic opportunities, diverse culture, and quality of life. However, none of them come close to California in terms of population size.

4. Why does California have such a large population?

California has a large population due to a combination of factors. Firstly, the state’s size and geographic diversity provide ample space and resources to accommodate a large population. Additionally, California’s diverse economy offers a wide range of employment opportunities, attracting people from various sectors. The state’s desirable climate, with warm weather and access to beautiful coastal areas, also contributes to its appeal. Moreover, California has a history of immigration, both from other states within the US and from other countries, further adding to its population growth.

5. Will California’s population continue to grow?

Although California’s population has been steadily growing for decades, there are indications that this growth rate may be slowing down. Factors such as a high cost of living, housing shortages, and traffic congestion may deter some people from moving to the state. Additionally, the state’s strict environmental regulations and limited water resources pose challenges for sustaining a growing population. However, California’s economic opportunities and desirable climate still make it an attractive destination for many. The future population growth of California will depend on various factors, including government policies, economic conditions, and environmental sustainability efforts.

6. How does California’s population compare to other countries?

If California were an independent country, its population would be among the highest in the world. With over 39 million residents, California’s population is comparable to countries like Canada and Poland. It is worth noting that California’s population is highly concentrated in urban areas, particularly in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. In terms of population density, California is much higher than the national average in the United States. However, compared to countries like China and India, California’s population is still relatively small.

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