For the first time since 1957, Florida is America’s fastest-growing state with the largest percent increase in population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For Floridians living in the state in recent decades, the 65-year-lapse since the last time this state was the “fastest-growing” may seem a bit surprising.
However, Florida’s annual population growth rate was actually much higher back in the mid-1950s. In the decade after World War II ended, besides the peak of the baby boom, another factor in Florida’s growth back then was the rising use of air conditioning. Can you imagine living in Florida today without it? Even a one-day power outage during summer in the Sunshine State can illicit plenty of griping from today’s citizenry.
More recently, the “great pandemic migration” was a new wave of motivated movers. People left some of the most locked-down states to relocate to southern states like Florida, Texas, and Tennessee for more freedom and no state income tax. Locally, in the last couple of years, there seems to be an increase in the number of New York, New Jersey and California car tags spotted around Fernandina and Yulee.
Florida population, according to U.S. Census Bureau:
- “Florida’s population increased by 1.9% to 22,244,823 between 2021 and 2022, surpassing Idaho, the previous year’s fastest-growing state.”
- “While Florida has often been among the largest-gaining states, this was the first time since 1957 that Florida has been the state with the largest percent increase in population.”
- Florida’s “2022 population is just over 9 times its 1946 population of 2,440,000.”
Located in northeast Florida bordering Georgia, Nassau County is a microcosm of what’s happened in many places around the Sunshine State. With its popular tourism destination, Amelia Island, many folks who visit decide they’d like to move here sooner or later and establish a primary residence. Others opt to buy a second home for vacations.
In particular, it’s former residents of Georgia who have picked this northeast Florida barrier island for either a permanent move, or part-timers who frequent Amelia Island’s beaches and historic downtown Fernandina. Many generations of Georgians have enjoyed their time spent Amelia Island and eventually establish roots here. One need only look at vehicles parked or driving around Nassau County and on the island in Fernandina Beach to see the abundance of Georgia tags.
The news release issued by the U.S. Census Bureau on December 22, 2022 also noted that Florida was the second largest-gaining state behind Texas, with an increase of 416,754 residents. Net migration was the largest contributing component of change to Florida’s growth, adding 444,484 residents.
Biggest Loser? The State of New York
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “New York had the largest annual numeric and percent population decline, decreasing by 180,341 (-0.9%). Net domestic migration (-299,557) was the largest contributing component to the state’s population decline.”
For further details of 2022 population estimates, see the U.S. Census Bureau website.