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Port St. Lucie, Fla., is Fastest-Growing City, Census Bureau Says


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WASHINGTON, June 30 -- Port St. Lucie, Fla., had the nationís fastest growth rate among large cities (100,000 or more population) between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.

Located along the Atlantic coast between Cape Canaveral and West Palm Beach, and spring training home of the New York Mets, Port St. Lucie saw its population increase 12 percent during the period, to 118,396. It was joined on the list of the 10 fastest-growing cities by two others in the Sunshine State: Cape Coral (ranking fifth) and Miramar city (eighth).

California had four cities in the top 10: Elk Grove (second), Moreno Valley (sixth), Rancho Cucamonga (ninth) and Roseville (10th). Two cities in Arizona were in the top 10 -- Gilbert (fourth) and Chandler (seventh) -- and, relatively nearby, North Las Vegas, Nev., was third. Elk Grove, Miramar and Roseville each became eligible for this list for the first time, as all three cities passed the 100,000 population threshold between 2003 and 2004.

New York City continued to be the nationís most populous city, with 8.1 million residents. This was more than twice the population of Los Angeles, which ranked second at 3.8 million. The estimates show that among the 10 largest cities, only one change has occurred in the rankings: San Jose, Calif., has replaced Detroit as the nationís 10th most populous city.

Phoenix had the largest population increase between 2003 and 2004, adding 29,826 people. Los Angeles; San Antonio; Las Vegas; and Fort Worth, Texas, rounded out the list of the five biggest numerical gainers.

In addition to the estimates for the nationís 19,465 incorporated places, the Census Bureau also released estimates for the nationís general purpose minor civil divisions -- those that have functioning governments. Incorporated places include cities, towns, villages and boroughs in most states.

For more information about the geographic areas for which the Census Bureau produces population estimates, see http://www.census.gov/popest/geographic.

These estimates are based on Census 2000 population counts -- updated using administrative records.

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EDITORSí NOTE: The data can be accessed at: http://www.census.gov/popest/.



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