U.S. Census estimates released Wednesday showed Pennsylvania rose a notch to become the fifth-most populous state, passing a shrinking Illinois by about 3,500 people.
The Census Bureau says Pennsylvania's estimated population rose by about 18,400 in the 12 months ending July 1. That puts it at a record above 12.8 million people.
Pennsylvania's estimated annual population increase was in the middle of the pack of states, but was 39th in percentage and much slower than the national average. Pennsylvania was the fifth-most populous state in the 1990 census, but was passed by Illinois in the 2000 census.
Pennsylvania remains behind California, Texas, Florida and New York in total population. It was No. 2 in population in the 1940 census behind New York.