During the 2000s, the U.S. population expanded by 27.3 million to a total of 308.7 million as of April 1, 2010 according to the first set of results from the 2010 Census. This represented a gain of 9.7 percent, the lowest percentage increase for any decade since the 1930s. The relatively slow increase likely was related to the lower birth rate and lower immigration during the recession. The South and West continued to grow rapidly, by 12.5 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively, though not as rapidly as in the 1990s. The Northeast and Midwest trailed, growing by 3.1 percent and 3.8 percent. Despite the housing crisis, Nevada and Arizona led all other states, expanding by 35.1 percent and 24.6 percent, while Michigan and Puerto Rico lost population. For commercial real estate, population growth equates to job creation, which is the primary driver of demand for space. But it’s worth remembering that some of the fastest growing regions can be prone to overbuilding. Markets such as Phoenix and Dallas rarely see rent spikes because developers can deliver new space with relative ease. By contrast, markets that have supply constraints – few developable parcels, high land prices, regulatory barriers – often have more volatile rental rates for commercial space, both rent spikes when demand is strong and sharp declines when demand evaporates.