Examining recently published census data, American Enterprise Institute scholar John Fortier notes that, for the first time, the American South can claim more residents (115 million) than the Northeast and Midwest combined (55 million and 67 million, respectively).

Moreover, Fortier calls North Carolina a “powerhouse for growth,” as the Tar Heel State’s population expanded by 18.5 percent over the decade, second only to Texas’ 20.6 percent during that period.

With 72 million people, the West is now the nation’s second most populated region. It moved past the Midwest since the 1990 census. Moreover,

No state in either the Midwest or Northeast grew faster than the national growth rate. No state in the West grew slower than the national growth rate. Montana grew at exactly the national growth rate of 9.7 percent. California was the second-slowest growing Western state at 10 percent, a growth rate which would be remarkable for a Midwestern or Northeastern state.

In a year-end press event last week, Gov. Bev Perdue said that, if current migration patterns continue, North Carolina is on pace to become America’s seventh most populous state.