SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — New U.S. Census figures show Utah is the fastest-growing state in the country, leading a cluster of Western states with populations on the upswing despite sluggish national growth.

The figures released Tuesday show the state with the country's highest birth rate grew just over 2 percent from July 2015 to July 2016, followed closely by Nevada, Idaho and Florida. Washington, Oregon and Colorado also took top percentage-growth spots. Brookings Institution demographer William Frey says the U.S. population posted one of the lowest growth rates since the late 1930s.

He says that's largely because declines in the baby-boomer population haven't been fully replaced by new births or immigration. Several Western states are bucking that trend as people are attracted by recovering economies and affordable housing compared with states like California.

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