Western Blue Chip Current Update

January 11, 2023

The states included in the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.



Western states accounted for five of the top ten states with the fastest population growth between July 2021 and July 2022.  However, Florida (ranking number one for the first time since 1957) grew most rapidly (1.9%) over the period.  Idaho, the number one fastest growing state in 2021, grew fastest among Western states and second fastest of all states (1.8%) in 2022.  Texas was in fourth position (1.6%) for 2022, up from ranking seventh last year.  Arizona slipped out of the top five in 2022, ranking in eighth place (1.3%).  The largest drop in percentage growth ranking was for Utah, down from second place in 2021 to tenth fastest (1.2%) in 2022.  At the national level, population grew by just 0.4 percent. Nationally, population growth has been slowing since peaking in 2015.


Percentage Increase in Population: Top Ten States (2021-2022)


Rank State Percent Change
1 Florida 1.9%
2 Idaho 1.8%
3 South Carolina 1.7%
4 Texas 1.6%
5 South Dakota 1.5%
6 Montana 1.5%
7 Delaware 1.3%
8 Arizona 1.3%
9 North Carolina 1.3%
10 Utah 1.2%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, December 2022


The top ten rankings for population growth measured by the number of new residents were similarly dominated by Western and Southeastern states.   Texas ranked first with a population change of 470,708, followed by Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona making up the top five.


Other western states in the top ten included Washington (8th), Utah (9th) and Idaho (10th).  Western states appearing on the lists for both fastest growth and greatest numeric increase included Arizona, Idaho, Texas and Utah


Numeric Increase in Population: Top Ten States (2021-2022)


Rank State Population Change
1 Texas 470,708
2 Florida 416,754
3 North Carolina 133,088
4 Georgia 124,847
5 Arizona 94,320
6 South Carolina 89,368
7 Tennessee 82,988
8 Washington 45,041
9 Utah 41,687
10 Idaho 34,719

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, December 2022




“The Texas housing market is finally starting to cool, which is a positive as many younger households have been priced out of the market.  The state’s job gains remain strong, and businesses continue to expand and relocate to Texas even as the national economy shifts into a lower gear.  If past is prologue, a recession in 2023 may actually accelerate the migration of people and industry to Texas.”

Dr. Bud Weinstein, University of North Texas


“Texas job growth has slowed recently, but remains robust despite major headwinds.  Further slowing is expected in early 2023, but the state is positioned well to withstand the issues confronting the national and global economies without a major downturn due to its diversity and the strength in some key sectors.  The second half of 2023 should see increasing momentum.”

Dr. Ray Perryman, President and CEO, The Perryman Group