Despite apocalyptic headlines portraying Arizona as the “hotspot of the world” of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Americans moved to the state than nearly any other location in the country last year.

On the heels of a disappointing showing in the official U.S. Census, the Copper State saw a net domestic migration gain of 93,026 people to its population in the annual population estimate. The additional people, minus those who moved away or died, put the state’s estimated population at 7,276,316 as of July 1 of this year. From July 1, 2020, to last July, the state’s total numeric change was 98,330.

The Census estimates Arizona’s population grew by 1.4%, higher than any other state with at least 4 million people and only behind Utah, Idaho and Montana.

Neighboring California continues to see people leave the state. At 39,237,836, California lost 261,902 residents on net, second only to New York which lost 319,020 people.

Some have blamed California’s dropping population not just on the number of people leaving but also in the increasing number of workers who no longer need to move into places like Silicon Valley if they can work remotely.

Nationally, the U.S. has continued to slow in total population growth compared to previous decades. The COVID-19 pandemic had taken its toll as well.

“Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau. “Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow pace of growth.”

The Census’s annual population estimate uses the decennial census as a baseline and alters that figure up or down using current data on births, deaths and migration to calculate population change from year-to-year starting on July 1. This creates a time series of estimates of population, demographic components of change, and housing units.