The latest U.S. Census Bureau population estimates were released on Monday, and we lost.
Woooooooooohooooo, we lost!
Experts expected 2013 would be the year that Florida's population edged New York's, making us the third most populated state in the U.S. Well, the numbers are out, and New York beat Florida by the slightest of margins, just 100,000 people. New York's population came in at an estimated 19.65 million, according to the 2013 estimates, while Florida's is estimated to be 19.55 million. This time last year, New York had 250,000 more people than Florida, so the gap is closing. California (38.33 million) still is the most populated state in the country, followed by Texas (26.45 million).
From April 2010 to July 2012, Florida's population grew about 2.7 percent. In the same period, New York's grew only 1 percent. The national growth rate for the period was 1.7 percent. For those of you not good with numbers, that means Florida is closing the gap, fast.
"This has been going on for many years; it's not a recent phenomenon," said Stan Smith, population program director at the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR). "After many years of higher growth, Florida is now poised to overtake New York within the next couple of years."
Experts say the losses of jobs in cities such as Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse has caused the closing of the population gap between Florida and New York, but we "nonexperts" can pretty much figure out the real reason: It's pretty awesome here.
The rise in population isn't just for bragging rights; it impacts the number U.S. House of Representatives seats a state holds. After the last release of official census data, from 2010, New York lost two seats and Florida gained two. Both states now have 27 House members. The next official census is schedule for 2020, and at this rate, New York reps will be sitting on Florida reps' laps.