Minnesota's population growth is picking up again, though it isn't nearly as strong as before the Great Recession.
The state added about 40,700 more people from July 2012 to July 2013 and about 32,500 people from 2011 to 2012, according to Census Bureau estimates released Monday.
The bump is a positive for the state's economy but it's "not like what we saw earlier in the decade," Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower said. In the early 2000s, the state's population grew by 55,000 to 60,000 a year, she added. It grew at about half that pace during the recession, which began in December 2007.
Births, which tend to rise after a recession, made up about three-fourths of Minnesota's net population increase this year.
The state is aging, however, and will rely more heavily on migrants than births to boost its population over the next 20 years, Brower said. In January, the Census is expected to release data on which components make up the population increase, along with monthly figures.
Minnesota's population -- about 5.42 million people -- is growing slightly faster than the nation as a whole. It's also leading the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Iowa, although North Dakota had the highest percent change in number of people, thanks to the oil boom.
People come to Minnesota for schools or jobs, or arrive as refugees and are attracted to its natural amenities and culture, Brower said.
When people move out of Minnesota, it's mostly to places elsewhere in the U.S., while people who move in usually come from international locations, she added.
The U.S. population is expected to reach about 317.3 million on New Year's Day, according to the Census Bureau, up 0.7 percent from New Year's Day 2013.
In January 2014, one birth is expected every eight seconds nationwide. That will represent more growth, as there is expected to be one death every 12 seconds.
The world population on Jan. 1, 2014 is expected to be about 7.14 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent from New Year's Day 2013. Next month, there are expected to be 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths every second around the world.
India led all countries with increase in raw numbers of people over a one-year period --- with 15.6 million new people. It was followed by China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ethiopia, according to the Census Bureau.