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Bay State's population growth outpaces Northeast

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The state’s population continues to grow, outpacing the Northeast and only slightly behind the national rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which suggests that immigrants are fueling the growth.

With an increase of nearly 28,000 people from July 2015 to July 2016, Massachusetts was the fastest-growing state in the region for the sixth consecutive year, according to new census data. Two other Northeast states —Vermont and Connecticut — saw their populations decline in the past year.

“International immigration has been a major driver in the state’s population growth in recent years,” said Susan Strate, a program manager at the University of Massachusetts’ Donahue Institute, which tracks population trends. “That’s keeping the numbers up.”

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