Florida ranked second in U.S. for population growth

by Lindsey Wells

Florida ranked No. 2 in the country for most residents gained between July 2020 and July 2021, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau data.

With a population of 21,781,128 in July 2021, the Sunshine State grew by 211,196 residents during that period.

Florida was also one of only three states with populations above 20 million in 2021. California ranked No.1 with 39,237,836 residents, Texas ranked second and Florida ranked third.

Data shows that the nation’s population grew by 392,665, or 0.1%, the lowest rate since its founding. The slow growth rate can be attributed to decreased net international migration, reduced fertility and increased mortality due in part to the pandemic.

“Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau. “Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow pace of growth.”

The voting-age resident population (adults over 18) grew to 258.3 million, comprising 77.8% of the population in 2021. 

With a population of 127,225,329, the South was the most populous of the four regions, encompassing 38.3% of the total national population. 

The Northeast region, the least populous of the four regions with a population of 57,159,838 in 2021, experienced a population decrease of -365,795 residents due to natural decline (-31,052) and negative net domestic migration (-389,638), according to the report. 

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