A small handful of Florida's more than 20 million residentsEXPAND
A small handful of Florida's more than 20 million residents
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Florida's Population Officially Breaks the 20 Million Mark

It was exactly one year ago that the U.S. Census Bureau officially declared that Florida became the third most populace state in the union, finally overtaking New York. Well, the U.S. Cense Bureau once again has announced that Florida has broken another milestone just in time for the holidays. 

We've broken the 20 million people mark. In fact, there are now 20.2 million Floridians in the world. Think about that for a second. 

The numbers come from census estimates through July 2015. Last year, the official estimate was 19.9 million people. 

The Census Bureau says we gained about 365,000 new Floridians between July 2014 and July 2015. Yes, that's an exact rate of 1,000 people per day. During the previous year, the rate worked out to about 803 people a day, meaning Florida's population is not only growing, but it's growing at a faster rate. 

The population boom, as it usually does in Florida, is due more to migration than births. 

To put that in perspective, the official count from the 2010 Census was 18.8 million people. Back in 2000, the state had 15.9 million people. The state's population has more than doubled since 1980 when it was home to a mere 9.7 million people. 

The Associated Press also points out that about 80 percent of Floridians, about 16.1 million people, are over the age of 18, and may be eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. 

Indeed, a growing population means growing political clout. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, if Florida's population continues to grow at the same rate over the next five years we'll likely be awarded two more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which also translates to two more votes in the Electoral College. 

Florida's history is one of huge population gains. However, back in 2009, the state's population actually shrunk for the first time in about 60 years. That was likely due to the economic crisis at the time, but clearly things have turned around since then. 

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