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Elk Grove, Calif., had the nation’s fastest growth rate among large cities (100,000 or more population) between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.

Located south of Sacramento, Elk Grove is a relatively new city, having incorporated less than six years ago. Elk Grove’s population increased 12 percent during the period, to 112,338. It was joined on the list of the 10 fastest-growing cities by three others in California: Moreno Valley (ranking sixth), Rancho Cucamonga (seventh) and Irvine (10th). These three cities are each located in southern California.

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Florida had three cities among the fastest growing: Port St. Lucie (third), Cape Coral (fifth) and Miramar (eighth). Two cities in Arizona were in the top 10 ย— Gilbert (fourth) and Chandler (eighth) ย— and, relatively nearby, North Las Vegas, Nev., was second.

Phoenix had the largest population increase of any city between 2004 and 2005. San Antonio; Fort Worth, Texas; North Las Vegas, Nev.; and Gilbert, Ariz., rounded out the list of the five biggest numerical gainers.

New York City continued to be the nation’s most populous city, with 8.1 million residents in 2005. This was more than twice the population of Los Angeles, which ranked second at 3.8 million. The estimates show that among the 10 largest cities, one change has occurred in the rankings: San Antonio has replaced San Diego as the nation’s seventh most populous city.

In addition to the estimates for the nation’s 19,471 incorporated places, the Census Bureau also released estimates for the nation’s general purpose minor civil divisions ย— those that have functioning governments. Incorporated places include cities, towns, villages and boroughs in most states.

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