More Americans are moving into the Lone Star state than anywhere else in the country, says the Census Bureau.

Americans, it seems, still have a love affair with the West. Texas and Wyoming were the big winners in the Census Bureau’s annual population estimates, which were released on Wednesday.

In the year ended July 1, Texas added more people than any other state, and Wyoming had the highest growth rate in the nation. The population of the United States has grown more than 9% to 307,006,550 since the 2000 census. The population grew 0.86% since last year’s estimates. 

Just three states shrank during the year. Michigan’s population fell by 0.33%, Maine dropped 0.11%, and Rhode Island lost 0.03%.

The report is a kind of sneak preview of the next big 10-year census, which will be released in December 2010.

The 10-year census determines congressional representation and federal aid, among other things.

“The census counts will not only determine how many U.S. House seats each state will have but will also be used as the benchmark for future population estimates,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves.

In Nevada, for example, the population has risen 32.27% since the 2000 Census, more than any other state in the past decade. Nevada currently has three seats in the House and will almost certainly pick up another as a result of its population growth.

Source: CNNMoney.com