Sunshine State Overtakes Empire State as Third Most Populous State

William H. Frey, Brookings Institution demographer, writes on the latest Census Bureau demographic data. California and Texas remain number one and two respectively. New York had 19.7 million residents on July 1, 2014, Florida 19.9 million people.

2 minute read

January 4, 2015, 9:00 AM PST

By Irvin Dawid

Florida added almost six times as many people between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, as New York, according to the Census Bureau's Dec. 23 press release. Increased domestic migration, a sign of the nation's economic revival, is the cause as migration slowed during the Great Recession.

"Perhaps the bigger news regarding regional population shifts is what appears to be a revival of domestic migration flows to the South and West after a decided departure from the rapid movement that characterized the middle part of the 2000-2010 decade," writes Frey. "

This migration lull, initially related to the mortgage meltdown and the 2007-2009 recession, continued in fits and starts through 2013.

[See older posts from 2008 showing "Recession’s Effect On Migration and from 2009, "Westward migration, no?"]

The Sun Belt population growth revival is evident in other states as well, writes Frey

  • "Texas continues to be the largest migration magnet, exhibiting its highest levels since 2006."
  • Nevada and Arizona are rebounding as well after showing "migration losses for some years after the recession began."

If domestic migration is causing Sun Belt states to grow, that means the Snow Belt, the "traditional Northeast and Midwest migrant 'feeder' states are losing decidedly more migrants than in recent years," adds Frey.

New York, New Jersey and Illinois, the biggest migrant losing states, are witnessing the largest levels of domestic out-migration in more than half a decade. [Census reports N.Y. gained 51,000 people during the year].

As for the fastest growing state, burgeoning energy production in North Dakota resulted in "an increase of 2.16%, while the overall U.S. population increased 0.75% to 318.9 million," reports

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 in Brookings

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