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Florida is the fifth-fastest-growing state of 2017. Who beat us?

The state brought in 327,000 more residents this year - before Hurricane Maria.
People line up to get on a Royal Caribbean International, Adventure of the Seas, relief boat that is sailing to Fort Lauderdale with evacuees that are fleeing after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria on September 28 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico experienced widespread damage including most of the electrical, gas and water grid as well as agriculture after Hurricane Maria, a category 4 hurricane, passed through. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
Published Dec. 21, 2017

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.

[Map: Hurricane Maria pushed 8,500 students to Florida. See where they went.]

[Wave of Puerto Rican evacuees may shift Florida landscape]

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.

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