NORTH CAROLINA -

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the population of North Carolina is now approaching 9.9 million people.

The bureau released new population estimates for 2013 Thursday. The state's population from the 2010 census was 9.5 million.

The numbers show the state's southeast corner is one of the fastest growing areas in America.

Brunswick County is in the metropolitan area that includes Myrtle Beach-Conway and North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and that area  was the 7th fastest-growing metropolitan area in the nation, with the population increasing 2.7 percent between July 1 of 2012 and last July 1st.

The new numbers show that five of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties are in North Carolina.