Florida’s highways, schools, beaches, water resources, sewer systems, social services, housing stock, and more will need to absorb more than 300,000 new residents during each of the next five years. That’s 906 new people every day, on average.
“These increases,” economists in the Florida Office of Economic & Demographic Research and other state agencies said, “are analogous to adding a city slightly larger than Orlando every year.”
The estimates, released earlier this month, indicate a population increase of 302,630 people during 2024, reflecting an increase of 1.34 percent. That’s down from 360,228 during 2019 and a growth rate of 1.73 percent.
The economists estimate that Florida’s population will reach 22.8 million during 2024 (it’s 21.2 million now). Newcomers to the state that year will account for 284,673 of the total population, compared to 3,248 via natural increase – that is, the number of births minus deaths.
Data from electric utilities and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles suggest the seven counties worst damaged by Hurricane Michael lost perhaps 5 percent of their population following the storm.
That didn’t affect the bottom line, the group said in an executive summary, “as the hurricane is thought to have caused some shifting of the population among counties and cities, not affecting the overall state total population.”