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The size and growth of state populations in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Economics Bulletin
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1238-1249
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


This paper explores the population distribution across U.S. states over time. We test for Zipf's Law on the size distribution of state populations and Gibrat's Law for the growth of state populations. State populations follow a lognormal distribution more closely than they do a Zipf or Pareto distribution. State population growth is negatively related to current state population in the 19th century but not in the 20th century, and is positively related to market potential in the 20th century but not in the 19th century.