Florida Population Tops 19 Million for First Time: Watch Out, New York

Between 2008 and 2009, Florida had its first decline in total population since World War II, but the state's growth is getting back on track. According to new numbers released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population has topped 19 million for the first time, and we're now on track to overtake New York as the nation's third most populous state.

Florida added 256,000 new residents between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011. It was the third highest increase of any state, behind only the nation's two most populated states of California and Texas. By percentage of population growth, Florida's was the ninth largest increase in the nation.

That now makes for a total of 19.06 million people in the Sunshine State. New York's population is estimated to be 19.47 million. Buffalo Business First reports that now only 407,655 residents separate the two state's populations. The last time numbers were released in April 2010, that gap was 576,793.

Long-term estimates expect Florida to return to its pre-recession growth rate of about 300,000 people a year in 2014 or 2015. The population is estimated to reach almost 25 million people by 2035.

Florida has long been expected to one day overtake New York as the nation's third most populous state, but the recession seemed to stymie those plans for a bit. It seems we're back on track. Now we just have to find jobs for all of those people.

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