An analysis from the Pew Charitable Trust shows the population of New Mexico has grown at the slowest rate of any state in the western U.S. over the past decade

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An analysis from the Pew Charitable Trust shows the population of New Mexico has grown at the slowest rate of any state in the western U.S. during the past decade.

The research released on Tuesday shows that New Mexico stands apart from the nation’s fastest growing region. New Mexico’s annual population growth rate was about 0.5 percent. Population growth in Colorado, Texas and Utah was at least three-times as fast.

The state’s political leaders are search during an election year for ways to stem the flight of young professionals and tradesmen to more economically robust states.

Pew Charitable Trust Research Officer Matt McKillop says the number of people moving from New Mexico to other states has outpaced arrivals. Natural population trends from births and death kept the state from shrinking.