RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — People kept flocking to North Carolina in 2022.

The state’s population grew by another 1.3 percent last year — one of the largest increases in the nation — according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

And in terms of raw numbers, North Carolina added more than 133,000 people during the accounting year that ended July 1, 2022, with only two other states — Texas and Florida — adding more.

It brought the state’s population to an estimated 10.7 million, as of July 1, 2022, the census bureau says. North Carolina remains the ninth-largest state in the U.S., about 200,000 behind Georgia and nearly 700,000 ahead of Michigan.

“This kind of shows recovery from the 2020 pandemic,” State Demographer Michael Cline said.

But while it’s easy to become caught up in how those raw numbers have skyrocketed, Cline says it’s important to pay attention to how the composition of the total population is changing, what specific parts of the state are seeing increases and decreases — and what the influx of all those people means for leaders planning for 2023 and beyond.

“Where’s that population going? And where is it growing and declining?” Cline said.

He says those numbers “pose some questions about infrastructure” but says it is strong enough in the state to support that population growth. He says urban areas are growing faster than rural ones, and “it’s preparing for those different changes in those different shifts within the state.

“Can we still support some of these things that were provided for a larger population in the past, because you still need schools, you still need transportation,” Cline said. “All these different things are still going to be needed in those areas as well.”

About 95 percent of the state’s growth is due to people moving in — either from other states or other countries, those estimates show. The other 5 percent is due to natural increase, with 122,000 babies born and 116,000 people dying — a difference of 6,000.

That’s a change since the 1980s or 1990s, Cline said.

“Our growth has been about three-quarters net migration and one-quarter natural increase,” Cline said. “As our population ages, we’ll have more deaths, of course. Because of that, our fertility rates have gone down. And so our natural increase, we expect, to be less of a contributor to our population growth going forward.”

Cline says two counties — Mecklenburg and Wake — accounted for half of the state’s population growth over the past decade, with an urbanization trend counterbalancing declines in some of the state’s rural counties.

The vast majority of those new additions to the population came from other states, with Cline saying North Carolina had a net gain of about 100,000. While slightly down from about 105,000 the year before, it remains a significant total — more than twice the size of the average net gains for other states in the decade of the 2010s, he said.

About 20 percent of the state’s 2022 growth consisted of people from other countries, with an estimated 26,000 net international migrants — a big jump from 10,000 a year earlier.

That mirrors the jump shown in the national numbers, which increased from about 376,000 in 2021 to more than 1 million last year — as evidence that those trends are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“There was a sizeable uptick in population growth last year compared to the prior year’s historically low increase,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer with bureau. “A rebound in net international migration, coupled with the largest year-over-year increase in total births since 2007, is behind this increase.”