Florida was the nation’s fifth-fastest growing state in 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday - and that’s before counting an influx of Puerto Rican residents after Hurricane Maria.
In the count, which estimated the nation’s population on July 1, the number one state was Idaho, which saw its population grow by 2.2 percent. Next came Nevada (2.0 percent), followed by Utah (1.9), Washington (1.7) and Florida (1.6).
Far more total people are new to Florida than to those other states. The 327,811 new Floridians were only outmatched by new Texans (399,374). For context, that’s about halfway between the population of Tampa (377,000) and St. Petersburg (260,000).
But notably, the July 1 count date was before Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, bringing an influx of families to Florida.
By December 5, some 215,000 Puerto Ricans living on the island had arrived in Florida, according to CBSMiami. Many have settled in Orlando and other areas along the I-4 corridor.
The United States population is now 325.7 million people, the Census estimates. About half of the country’s 2.3 million new residents are immigrants, although the immigration rate dropped slightly compared to last year.
Among new Floridians, 49 percent moved here from other states and 43 percent from other countries. The last 7 percent were the 22,000 more births than deaths in the state.
Florida’s population hit 20 million residents in 2015.