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Florida population growth peaks

Florida is adding about 800 people per day but that growth rate is excepted to slow in coming years. [Photo by Alex]

Florida keeps growing as it attracts people from other states, but that growth is projected to slow in coming years as groups that have moved to Florida in droves get older, according to state economists.

The Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research has released a report estimating that the state’s population in April was 22,634,867, an increase of nearly 359,000 people, or 1.61%, from a year earlier.

The number of people moving to Florida from elsewhere in the United States was “the highest number it’s ever been,” said Stefan Rayer, the population program director with the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida.

“Population growth is still growing strong in the state. Slightly more than the year before, but still, if you compare long-term averages, which have been just under 300,000, it’s been really remarkably strong,” Rayer said during a Nov. 28 meeting that led to the new state report.

Population projections through 2028 show slowing growth: 1.51% next year, 1.37% in 2025, 1.3% in 2026, 1.24% in 2027 and 1.18% in 2028.

Despite the slowing rate, the population would still increase by an average of about 300,000 people a year during the period. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo called attention to that number in a Nov. 9 memo to fellow senators announcing plans to change the health care system to accommodate anticipated demand.

Adding more than 800 residents per day, Passidomo wrote, “is like adding a city slightly smaller than Orlando but larger than St. Petersburg every year.”

The key to understanding the slowing growth rate is looking at who is moving to the state.

In 2022, 60- to 69-year-olds represented the largest share of people moving to Florida from other states, according to data taken from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The second-largest group moving to Florida was ages 50 to 59.

Margaret Snyder, who represented Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office at the Nov. 28 meeting, said 20- to 39-year-olds “have consistently not shown the same desire to move to Florida.”

With baby boomers aging out of the 50-to-70 age group that has led migration to Florida, Snyder said, “we believe in the next several years these numbers will start to decline, or at least not grow at the levels we’ve seen over the past five years.” 

If that trend continues, the annual growth rate will dip below 1% in the 2030s, according to state economists.


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