A GROWING STATE It's no surprise that North Dakota's population has grown since 2000. Just how much it has grown had been open to speculation, which ended last week when the official 2010 Census count put the state's population at 672,591 residents as of April 1. The figure represents a 4.7 percent increase since 2000. Considering the rise in oil production in western North Dakota in recent years, everyone expected the population to grow when the Census numbers were compiled. But the reported figure passed even the most optimistic predictions, and is just short of the state's peak population of 1930 when the Census counted 680,845 residents. Now, the wait is on for the release of more detailed Census numbers, such as how many people are living in Minot. We're as impatient as anyone.