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2011 Florida Population Growth Is Third Largest in United States ... But Still Not Close to Pre-Recession Levels1

Rodney L. Clouser2

Introduction

The US Census Bureau released new population growth estimates for all states in December 2011. These growth estimates measure the change in population between July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011 and should not be confused with the 2010 population estimates for the decennial census taken on April 1, 2010. The new population estimates reveal that Florida's population growth is increasing at a more rapid pace again, although not back to the levels of annual growth from the 1990s through the mid-2000s. Overall, from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 Florida's population increased by almost 219,000 people, which was the third largest increase in all US states. On a percentage basis, Florida's population growth was the eighth largest (1.2%).

US Population Growth

The US Census Bureau estimated that between July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011, the US population increased by 2.26 million people (Table 1). The fastest growing region was the South, which accounted for about 52 percent of the country's total growth. The slowest growing region of the country was the Northeast, with a total population growth of just over 155,000 people. Rhode Island and Michigan were the only two states with population declines during this period.

Florida's Population Growth

Florida's total population growth of 219,000 during 2010–2011 ranked third behind Texas (421,215, 1st) and California (353,714, 2nd) in the United States. Florida remains the fourth largest state in the country. The data also reveal that if Florida maintains this growth rate and if New York maintains its current growth rate, Florida will surpass New York as the third most populated state in the country sometime in the 2013–2014 timeframe. The top ten states in total population growth are presented in Table 2.

On a percentage basis, Florida's population growth rate of 1.2 percent ranked as the eighth fastest in the country. The fastest growth rate was in Washington, D.C. at 2.2 percent, followed by Texas at 1.7 percent and Utah at 1.5 percent. The top ten states in percentage population growth are presented in Table 3.

Implications for Florida

The increase in Florida's population growth between 2010 and 2011 is most likely related to continued improvements in the national and state economies, allowing people to relocate who may have been place-bound because it was difficult to sell their homes. However, the increase in population still remains around 60 percent of the typical level prior to 2006. Also, based on census data, the growth from 2010 to 2011 is smaller than the growth experienced from 2009 to 2010 in the state. That most likely is indicative of the fragile nature of the national and state economic recovery since the recession, which is still expected to take more time (maybe 18 to 24 months) before approaching the pre-2006 levels, particularly in terms of employment/job growth.

Still, the growth increase is welcome news, especially for some components of the state's economy when compared to growth rates well below 200,000 people per year from 2006 to 2009. While the road to full recovery for the building and housing construction market and the sale of existing homes appears a long way off, population growth improvements over the past couple of years may be beneficial to these hard-hit areas of the state's economy.

The largest component of Florida's growth rate over the period 2010–2011 was due to migration. Over 80 percent of the population growth (176,634) was from migration, with about 61 percent coming from domestic migration (from other states in the United States) and about 39 percent from abroad. In other words, new residents from abroad accounted for nearly four of every ten new residents in the state.

Population growth presents challenges as well. Diversification in the state population requires adapting services to meet the needs of people based on culture, work ethics, and family structure. Sustainable population growth also implies the need for increased employment opportunities in the state. Gains were reported in employment in Florida in 2011, but the state unemployment rate still remains about 10 percent, or 1.5 to 2 percent higher than the nation. Of course, growth in state population also brings questions and concerns from some: Will the growth pay for itself in terms of services needed? Where will the growth occur in the state? Will the growth pattern be compact and not spread out (sprawl)? How will resources such as land and water be allocated?

References

Harrington, J. 2011. Wells Fargo: Florida economy to grow slowly, but still outperform national average. Tampa Bay Times, October 11. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/article1196107.ece

The Conference Board. 2011. Slow growth next year and into next decade: Chief Economist Bart van Ark discusses The Conference Board Global Economic Outlook 2012. CNBC Europe (November 11). http://www.conference-board.org/spotlight/

US Census Bureau, Population Division. 2011. Estimates of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico and Region and State Rankings: July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011. NST-EST2011-03, United States Census Bureau, Washington, D.C. (December). http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/totals/2011/index.html

US Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009. NST-EST2009-01, United States Census Bureau, Washington, D.C. (December). http://www.census.gov/popest/data/historical/2000s/vintage_2009/index.html

Tables

Table 1. 

July 1, 2011 US population estimates and percent change

Geographic Area

Population Estimates (as of July 1)

Change, 2010 to 2011

2010

2011

Number

Percent

United States

309,330,219

311,591,917

2,261,698

0.7

Northeast

55,366,108

55,521,598

155,490

0.3

Midwest

66,976,458

67,158,835

182,377

0.3

South

114,857,529

116,046,736

1,189,207

1.0

West

72,130,124

72,864,748

734,624

1.0

.Alabama

4,785,401

4,802,740

17,339

0.4

.Alaska

714,146

722,718

8,572

1.2

.Arizona

6,413,158

6,482,505

69,347

1.1

.Arkansas

2,921,588

2,937,979

16,391

0.6

.California

37,338,198

37,691,912

353,714

0.9

.Colorado

5,047,692

5,116,796

69,104

1.4

.Connecticut

3,575,498

3,580,709

5,211

0.1

.Delaware

899,792

907,135

7,343

0.8

.District of Columbia

604,912

617,996

13,084

2.2

.Florida

18,838,613

19,057,542

218,929

1.2

.Georgia

9,712,157

9,815,210

103,053

1.1

.Hawaii

1,363,359

1,374,810

11,451

0.8

.Idaho

1,571,102

1,584,985

13,883

0.9

.Illinois

12,841,980

12,869,257

27,277

0.2

.Indiana

6,490,622

6,516,922

26,300

0.4

.Iowa

3,050,202

3,062,309

12,107

0.4

.Kansas

2,859,143

2,871,238

12,095

0.4

.Kentucky

4,347,223

4,369,356

22,133

0.5

.Louisiana

4,545,343

4,574,836

29,493

0.6

.Maine

1,327,379

1,328,188

809

0.1

.Maryland

5,785,681

5,828,289

42,608

0.7

.Massachusetts

6,555,466

6,587,536

32,070

0.5

.Michigan

9,877,143

9,876,187

-956

N/A

.Minnesota

5,310,658

5,344,861

34,203

0.6

.Mississippi

2,970,072

2,978,512

8,440

0.3

.Missouri

5,995,715

6,010,688

14,973

0.2

.Montana

990,958

998,199

7,241

0.7

.Nebraska

1,830,141

1,842,641

12,500

0.7

.Nevada

2,704,283

2,723,322

19,039

0.7

.New Hampshire

1,316,807

1,318,194

1,387

0.1

.New Jersey

8,799,593

8,821,155

21,562

0.2

.New Mexico

2,065,913

2,082,224

16,311

0.8

.New York

19,395,206

19,465,197

69,991

0.4

.North Carolina

9,560,234

9,656,401

96,167

1.0

.North Dakota

674,629

683,932

9,303

1.4

.Ohio

11,537,968

11,544,951

6,983

0.1

.Oklahoma

3,760,184

3,791,508

31,324

0.8

.Oregon

3,838,332

3,871,859

33,527

0.9

.Pennsylvania

12,717,722

12,742,886

25,164

0.2

.Rhode Island

1,052,528

1,051,302

-1,226

-0.1

.South Carolina

4,637,106

4,679,230

42,124

0.9

.South Dakota

816,598

824,082

7,484

0.9

.Tennessee

6,357,436

6,403,353

45,917

0.7

.Texas

25,253,466

25,674,681

421,215

1.7

.Utah

2,775,479

2,817,222

41,743

1.5

.Vermont

625,909

626,431

522

0.1

.Virginia

8,023,953

8,096,604

72,651

0.9

.Washington

6,742,950

6,830,038

87,088

1.3

.West Virginia

1,854,368

1,855,364

996

0.1

.Wisconsin

5,691,659

5,711,767

20,108

0.4

.Wyoming

564,554

568,158

3,604

0.6

Source:Table 3. Estimates of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico and Region and State Rankings: July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 (NST-EST2011-03), US Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2011.

Table 2. 

Top 10 US states in 2010-2011 population growth

State

July 1, 2010

July 1, 2011

Change

Texas

25,253,466

25,674,681

421,215

California

37,338,198

37,691,912

353,714

Florida

18,838,613

19,057,542

218,929

Georgia

9,712,157

9,815,210

103,053

North Carolina

9,560,234

9,656,401

96,167

Washington

6,742,950

6,830,038

87,088

Virginia

8,023,953

8,096,604

72,651

New York

19,395,206

19,465,197

69,991

Arizona

6,413,158

6,482,505

69,347

Colorado

5,047,692

5,116,796

69,104

Source:Table 3. Estimates of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico and Region and State Rankings: July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 (NST-EST2011-03), US Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2011.

Table 3. 

Top 10 US states/areas by percent change in 2010-2011 population growth

State

July 1, 2010

July 1, 2011

Change

Percent Change

District of Columbia

604,912

617,996

13,084

2.2

Texas

25,253,466

25,674,681

421,215

1.7

Utah

2,775,479

2,817,222

41,743

1.5

North Dakota

674,629

683,932

9,303

1.4

Colorado

5,047,692

5,116,796

69,104

1.4

Washington

6,742,950

6,830,038

87,088

1.3

Alaska

714,146

722,718

8,572

1.2

Florida

18,838,613

19,057,542

218,929

1.2

Arizona

6,413,158

6,482,505

69,347

1.1

Georgia

9,712,157

9,815,210

103,053

1.1

Source:Table 3. Estimates of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico and Region and State Rankings: July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 (NST-EST2011-03), US Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2011.

Footnotes

1.

This is EDIS document FE904, a publication of the Food and Resource Economics Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Published March 2012. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Rodney L. Clouser, professor and associate chair, Food and Resource Economics Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.