Is Florida Really the Nation’s Fastest-Growing State?

A report by the U.S. Census Bureau says Florida's population is surging.

Miami skyline at night
From the white sandy shores of Pensacola to the bustling social scene in Miami, Florida is the largest-growing state again, according to a new census report. Photo by Elvis Vasquez on Pexels

Remember the days when Florida was the land of alligators, crazy politicians, theme parks and our retired parents? It still is, but now the state’s boosters have another label for it: the fastest-growing state in the country.

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released in December 2022, Florida’s population grew from 1.9% from July 2021 to July 2022. That accounts for more than 400,000 new residents that relocated to the Sunshine State. Overall, the state has an estimated population of 22,244,823.

It also marks the first time Florida has held the title since 1957.

The distinction of being the fastest-growing state is more impressive considering Florida’s size and consistent growth. Since the end of World War II, the state’s percentage of growth has increased every year. But it was the popularization of air conditioning in the 1950s that began Florida’s boom years.

Here are some other notable observations from the most recent Census report and other national reports:

  • Florida is the third-largest state behind California (39 million) and Texas (30 million). We best New York, though, which has 19.6 million.
  • Curious about which states have the smallest population? Vermont has 647,064 and Wyoming has 581,381.
  • Traditionally Florida sees between 300,000 and 360,000 new residents per year.
  • Nevada is most often cited as the annual champion in terms of population increase. Arizona, Idaho, Utah, North Dakota and Alaska also have seen strong growth.

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