December 20, 2012 – Ohio continues to lag behind other states in terms of population growth. The state gained only 3,218 residents last year, a miniscule 0.03 percent increase from the previous year, according to estimates the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday. That meager growth rate ranked 48th among all states and the District of Columbia. Only West Virginia, Rhode Island and Vermont were worse. Rhode Island and Vermont actually saw their populations decline slightly. Ohio remains the seventh largest state, with a population of 11,544,225, despite being among the slowest growers. The state’s population has risen only 1.7 percent since the 2000 census.