Reference: U.S. Census Releases New Metro and County Population Estimates, America’s Fastest Growing Areas
Florida was home to the nation’s fastest growing metro area from 2013 to 2014, according to new U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan statistical area, micropolitan statistical area and county population estimates released today.
The Villages, located to the west of the Orlando metro area, grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, to reach a population of about 114,000. State population estimates released in December revealed that Florida had become the nation’s third most populous state. Today’s estimates show Florida’s growth to reach this milestone was propelled by numerous metro areas and counties within the state.
Florida contained seven of the nation’s top 50 numerically gaining metro areas between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, and these areas accounted for more than three-quarters of the state’s population gain over the period:
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (with a one-year gain of about 66,000).
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (about 50,000).
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (about 41,000).
- Jacksonville (about 23,000).
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers (about 18,000).
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (about 16,000).
- Lakeland-Winter Haven (about 11,000).
In addition, eight counties within these metro areas were among 50 counties nationwide that gained the most population between 2013 and 2014. Collectively, these counties accounted for more than half of the state’s population gain over the period:
- All three counties in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area: Broward (with a population gain of about 24,000 over the period), Palm Beach (about 22,000) and Miami-Dade (about 21,000).
- Two counties in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area: Orange (about 26,000) and Osceola (about 11,000).
- One county in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area: Hillsborough (about 22,000).
- The single counties that comprise the Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Lakeland-Winter Haven metro areas: Lee (18,000) and Polk (11,000), respectively.
Furthermore, six metro areas in Florida were among the 20 fastest-growing in the nation between 2013 and 2014. In addition to The Villages, they were Cape Coral-Fort Myers (sixth), Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island (10th), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (16th), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (18th) and Panama City (19th).
“Florida’s ascension, revealed when the 2014 state population estimates were released last December, was a significant demographic milestone for our country,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “These county and metro area estimates provide a more detailed picture of how this happened, showing growth in areas such as central and southern Florida.”
Migration to Florida from other states and abroad was heavy enough to overcome the fact that in about half the state’s counties, there were more deaths than births over the 2013 to 2014 period.
Lone Star State’s Notable Growth
There were two states — Texas (with 11) and California (with 10) — with even more counties than Florida on the list of the top 50 numerical gainers. Two Texas metro areas — Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington — were the only ones in the country to add more than 100,000 residents over the 2013-2014 period. Within the Houston metro area, Harris County alone gained almost 89,000 people, more than any other county in the nation. The Lone Star State also had four metro areas among the nation’s 20 fastest growing by rate of change: Austin-Round Rock (third), Odessa (fourth), Midland (ninth) and Houston (11th).
With a population increase of 8.7 percent from July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2014, Williams, N.D., remained the nation’s fastest-growing county (among counties with populations of 10,000 or more in 2013), although its growth slowed from the previous one-year period. Following Williams on the list were Stark, N.D. (7.0 percent), whose growth accelerated from the previous year; Sumter, Fla. (5.4 percent); Pickens, Ala. (5.1 percent); and Hays, Texas (4.8 percent).
- Los Angeles, Calif., is still the nation’s most populous county with a July 1, 2014, population surpassing 10.1 million.
- Between 2013 and 2014, North Carolina became the ninth-most populous state (up from 10th). Its growth was fueled by two counties that were among the 50 top numerical gainers: Wake (Raleigh), which added about 24,000 people over the period, and Mecklenburg (Charlotte), which grew by about 20,000.
- Although New York fell out of third place in state population between 2013 and 2014, it did have three counties among the top 50 numerical gainers. Each was a New York City borough: Kings (Brooklyn), which added about 19,000; Queens, which gained about 18,000; and Bronx (with an increase of about 11,000).
- Among the largest counties (those with total populations of 250,000 or more in 2013), the three fastest growing were in Texas: Fort Bend, Montgomery and Williamson. Each grew by at least 3.8 percent over the period.
- Among very small counties, Sterling, Texas, was the fastest growing of those with a population of fewer than 5,000 people in 2013 (8.9 percent growth). Among those in the 5,000-9,999 population range, McKenzie, N.D., led in rate of growth (18.3 percent).
- The fastest-losing county between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014 (among counties with 2013 populations of 10,000 or more) was Chattahoochee, Ga., which declined by 4.2 percent. Hale, Texas (-3.0 percent) and Colfax, N.M. (-2.9 percent) followed.
- Wayne, Mich. (Detroit) remains the county with the largest numeric decline, by far, at just less than 11,000. The next largest decline belonged to Cuyahoga, Ohio (Cleveland) at slightly more than 4,000.
- The Carolinas were home to four of the nation’s 20 fastest-growing metro areas between 2013 and 2014: Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C. (second); Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, S.C. (13th); Raleigh, N.C. (15th); and Charleston-North Charleston, S.C. (17th).
- The nation’s metro areas contained about 272.7 million people in 2014, an increase of about 2.4 million from 2013.
- Bismarck, N.D., was the fastest-growing metro area outside of the South or West between 2013 and 2014 (22nd overall).
- Overall, 298 of the 381 metro areas in the United States gained population between 2013 and 2014.
- There were 53 metro areas with 2014 populations of 1 million or more. New York was the nation’s largest metro area in 2014, with about 20.1 million people.
- The Tucson, Ariz., metro area surpassed the 1 million population threshold between 2013 and 2014.
- The nation’s micro areas contained about 27.2 million people in 2014, an increase of about 13,000 from 2013.
- The two fastest-growing micro areas between 2013 and 2014 were in North Dakota: Williston and Dickinson.
- Two Utah micro areas, Heber and Vernal, also were among the top-five fastest growing between 2013 and 2014.
- Overall, fewer than half (244 out of 536) of the U.S. micro areas gained population between 2013 and 2014.
- San Juan continued to be the most populous municipio (which are similar to counties), with 365,575 residents on July 1, 2014, followed by Baymón with 194,210 and Carolina with 165,820 residents.
- Gurabo had the largest numerical increase of any municipio between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, gaining about 246 residents.
- Four municipios experienced growth in their populations between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014: Gurabo (0.52 percent growth), Barceloneta (0.08 percent growth), Culebra (0.06 percent growth) and Toa Alta (0.01 percent growth). The remainder experienced a population decline over the period.
- Each of Puerto Rico’s seven metro areas and five micro areas declined in population between 2013 and 2014.
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