Florida has always appealed as a place to live. Its year-round sunshine, stunning beaches and endless tourist attractions are legend. In addition, plentiful job opportunities and a stable, affordable property market make Florida one of the most sought-after relocation destinations in the world.
The Sunshine State’s attractiveness has just been confirmed by data from the US Census Bureau. New figures show massive population growth for Florida over the last year. In the 12 months to July 2014, 803 new residents flocked to Florida every day, adding a new population of 293,000. They bring the state total to 19.9 million and make Florida the third most populated state in the country, overtaking New York. Commenting on the rise in Florida’s population, the Census Bureau Director John Thompson said that “Florida’s ascension was a significant demographic milestone for our country”.
Florida also boasts the fastest-growing city in the US with six others among the top 20 nationwide as well as six of the fastest-growing metro areas. The Villages, west of Orlando, takes top place among the country’s expanding population. This popular part of Florida added 114,000 people to its residents in 2014, a rise of 5.4 per cent.
The metro area of Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford itself ranks as 16th in the US for population growth with an additional 50,000 people setting up home in the area between July 2013 and July 2014. Other big performers in terms of new residents in Florida were Miami-fort Lauderdale whose population increased by 66,000, Tampa with 41,000 more people. Jacksonville added 23,000 to its census and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton grew by 16,000 people. The six metro areas with the highest population growth accounted for over 75 per cent of Florida’s total population increase.
At county level, there were also some impressive rises such as those seen in central Florida around Orlando. In Orange, new residents numbered 26,000 and 11,000 in Osceola County. In southern Florida, the counties of Broward and Palm Beach attracted 26,000 relocators between them.
The Florida migration figures confirm the state’s appeal among retirees, families and young people, from other parts of the US and abroad. All demographics are drawn to the opportunities – both in leisure and employment – offered by the Sunshine State. And with a strong economy (forecast to grow of 2.6 per cent this year) and booming tourism figures (a record 97.3 million in 2014), Florida’s population growth shows no sign of abating. It’s no surprise that Forbes rank Florida property as fourth in their Where to invest in 2015 list.
Source: US Census Bureau