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Associated Press, Published December 23 2009

North Dakota sees population growth in new estimates

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Census Bureau says North Dakota's population grew by 5,423 from July 2008 to July 2009, keeping it the 48th most populous state.

The bureau's most recent estimate put the state population at 646,844 in July 2009, up from 641,421 in 2008. It was the first time this decade that the state's population surpassed the 2000 count of 642,200.

The Census Bureau says the population increase made North Dakota the 23rd fastest-growing state in the nation, percentage-wise. It ranks 45th in overall growth.