Just under 250 million people live in the United States - a 10.2 percent increase in population during the past decade.

Census officials Wednesday said the final 1990 total "came surprisingly close" to the federal projection of 250 million, although there were complaints that cities were undercounted."The dramatic part of this decade is the change by region that the West is the big population gainer," said Census Bureau Director Barbara Bryant.

All four geographic regions of the country experienced growth, according to the 1990 count, which cost roughly $2.6 billion to conduct. The exact population figure reported by the Census Bureau is 249,632,692.

Figures showed that the West grew by 22.3 percent and the South by 13.5 percent. The Northeast grew by 3.4 percent and the Midwest by 1.3 percent.

The population has grown by roughly 10 percent each decade this century except between 1930-1940 when growth was 7.2 percent, census figures showed.

Census officials said they had no information on the federal money programs that might be affected by the new count, saying complete data will be sent to state officials within three months.

Some cities have complained that this census, touted as the most comprehensive in history, would result in an undercount as the bureau would miss hard-to-reach populations like the poor and illegal immigrants.

There was an estimated total population undercount of 1 percent in 1980, but census officials and others have said that the count was off by as much as 6 percent for minorities and the poor.

Several state and city governments filed suit last spring alleging the census historically undercounted minorities and the poor. But the coalition agreed not to proceed until the final figures were issued and a decision was made on whether there was an undercount and, if so, whether corrections are warranted.

The Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, has promised a decision on those questions by July 15.

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(Additional information)

Head count shows 1,727,784 Utahns

Here's a state-by-state listing of populations and number of seats in the House of Representatives.

State 1990 Population Seats

Alabama 4,062,608 7

Alaska 551,947 1

Arizona 3,677,985 6

Arkansas 2,362,239 4

California 29,839,250 52

Colorado 3,307,912 6

Connecticut 3,295,669 6

D.C. 609,909 0

Delaware 668,696 1

Florida 13,003,362 23

Georgia 6,508,419 11

Hawaii 1,115,274 2

Idaho 1,011,986 2

Illinois 11,466,682 20

Indiana 5,564,228 10

Iowa 2,787,424 5

Kansas 2,485,600 4

Kentucky 3,698,969 6

Louisiana 4,238,216 7

Maine 1,233,223 2

Maryland 4,798,622 8

Massachusetts 6,029,051 10

Michigan 9,328,784 16

Minnesota 4,387,029 8

Mississippi 2,586,443 5

Missouri 5,137,804 9

Montana 803,655 1

Nebraska 1,584,617 3

Nevada 1,206,152 2

New Hampshire 1,113,915 2

New Jersey 7,748,634 13

New Mexico 1,521,779 3

New York 18,044,505 31

North Carolina 6,657,630 12

North Dakota 641,364 1

Ohio 10,887,325 19

Oklahoma 3,157,604 6

Oregon 2,853,733 5

Pennsylvania 11,926,710 21

Rhode Island 1,005,984 2

South Carolina 3,505,707 6

South Dakota 699,999 1

Tennessee 4,896,641 9

Texas 17,059,805 30

UTAH 1,727,784 3

Vermont 564,964 1

Virginia 6,216,568 11

Washington 4,887,941 9

West Virginia 1,801,625 3

Wisconsin 4,906,745 9

Wyoming 455,975 1