The resident population represented an increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000 U.S. resident population of 281,421,906. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Acting Commerce Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves unveiled the official counts at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  

The U.S. resident population represents the total number of people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The most populous state was California (37,253,956); the least populous, Wyoming (563,626). The state that gained the most numerically since the 2000 Census was Texas (up 4,293,741 to 25,145,561) and the state that gained the most as a percentage of its 2000 Census count was Nevada (up 35.1% to 2,700,551).

Regionally, the South and the West picked up the bulk of the population increase, 14,318,924 and 8,747,621, respectively. But the Northeast and the Midwest also grew: 1,722,862 and 2,534,225.

States where Hispanics have settled in large numbers saw some of the highest percent changes in population growth and gained congressional seats, according to the first set of Census 2010 results.

Many states in the South and West that have been magnets for Latinos saw double-digit percentage growths. The growth in those areas far outpaced the nation’s, which saw a population increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000 Census count of 281 million residents.

This first release of Census results did not include data on race or ethnicity — reports with those details will be released early next year. But many demographic experts have been expecting the 2010 Census to show that some of the largest growth in population would occur in states that are home to Hispanics, who have a higher birthrate than most other groups and include millions of immigrants.

Additionally, Puerto Rico's resident population was 3,725,789, a 2.2 percent decrease over the number counted a decade earlier.

"The results from the U.S. Census confirm that the states with a heavy Hispanic population are the 'winners' in terms of the number of house seats gained," said Joe Kutchera, an expert on demographic trends and author of "Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content." "The growth in the U.S. is centered in the South and Southwest, regions that are heavily Hispanic."

Beginning in February and wrapping up by March 31, 2011, the Census Bureau will release demographic data to the states on a rolling basis so state governments can start the redistricting process.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Fox News

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