Florida is the Fastest Growing “Big State”

Hurricane Irma Satellite Image
Broward and Miami-Dade Avoid the Worst of Irma
October 2, 2017
Baby turtle on the sand
Irma: How Did the Turtles Fare?
October 31, 2017
Nighttime map US

Now that South Florida is back to normal after Irma, it’s time to talk about precisely how popular – and populated! – the state really is. Yes, those hot, corn-fed cleanup crews we imported from around this great country of ours are stretched a little thin due to the breadth of the storm though they still look good in uniforms when chilled to room temperature, and yes there’s a couple of extra branches down that we’d rather not see, but the lights are on, the sand is swept off A1A, and the beach boys are back!

Storms don’t stop us and never will. Example: Miami-Dade’s population in 1993 – the year of Hurricane Andrew – was 2.01 million. Its estimated population in 2017 was 2.5 million, for a 1% increase in population per year, versus the US population as a whole, which grew by only 0.9% per year in that same period. Compounded over time, that small difference becomes huge.

If you’re bad at math you’re spot out of luck now, because here comes more arithmetic:  among the states, only eensy Utah, weensy Nevada, and the Potato Capital of the World (yawn) Idaho grew at a faster clip than Florida between 2010 and 2016.  But their combined population in 2016 was just 7,674,415 (what, statistics too?!?!) whereas Florida’s alone was 20,612,439. That means that Florida has (OMG back to math!) nearly 2.7 times more people than those three states combined, yet it’s growing at nearly the same rate.  Other big states – New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut (Connecticut?!?!?) – actually lost people, and the tax base being what it is, rumor has it they have posses out, itching to drag them back.

What does that tell us about the charm of the Sunshine State? First, that at least one person who lives here can divide (me), and second, just look at the map of where people live, and think of it this way: if you have a penny it’s easy to double it and have two cents, and lord knows everybody wants to give you their two cents because it’s pretty much worthless. But if you have $1,000,000 doubling it to $2,000,000 ain’t no rounding error, and unlike a penny you won’t throw the excess in the tips bucket.

So yeah, Utah can boast a 2.03% increase in population starting from a base of 2,763,888, but what’s really impressive is Florida’s growth rate of 1.82%, starting from a base of 18,804,592.  And that’s because people want to live here!


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