Florida population growth continues to rise, and according to a Jan. 3 Yahoo News report, Florida will surpass new York in population, and will be the third most populous state in the United States. Once the Sunshine State hits the 20 million resident mark, it will be second only to California and Texas.
Contrary to popular opinion, however, it is not the retired seniors who are driving up the population count.
Fox News reports that more than half of the new residents were between 25 and 64, and almost two-fifths of them were under age 25. Surprisingly several ex-New Yorkers now call Florida home, proving the largest source of domestic transplants, while Latin American migrants dominated the newly-arrived international Floridians.
“Florida is kind of an icon of the 21st century in terms of the shifting population and the growing role Latin America is playing in transforming the country,” said James Johnson, a business professor at the University of North Carolina. “I think it's going to be for the 21st century what California or New York was for the 20th century.”
For most young residents, the appeal of Florida is too much to pass up. 47-year-old Michael Richards provides several reasons for moving to the State, including the weather, no state income tax, a familiarity from family vacations or being stationed in the military, the availability of low-skill jobs and proximity to Latin America and Europe, Yahoo News reports.
“You put up with three months of hell (in the summer) for nine months of great weather,” said Richards, who moved to the Tampa area in 2011 after retiring from the military so his wife could live closer to her family in Panama.
Politicians are definitely taking notice of the largest swing state’s growth, as its 29 electoral votes are the nation's most coveted.