Apr 7, 2023 - News

Tampa Bay counties drive Florida population growth

Change in Florida population, 2020 to 2022
Data: U.S. Census; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Tampa Bay is fueling a booming population as more people move to Florida and the Sunbelt.

Driving the news: Florida had three of the top 10 largest growing counties in 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last week.

  • Polk, Lee and Hillsborough counties collectively added nearly 92,850 residents between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022.
  • In terms of population change, surrounding Tampa Bay counties, like Sumter, had higher percentage increases than Hillsborough and Pinellas.

Why it matters: America's shift in money, people and power to the Sun Belt — propelled by COVID — is continuing even as the pandemic eases, Axios' Mike Allen reports.

Zoom out: The Sunshine State had the third highest population growth among U.S. states between 2020-2022, growing by 3%.

Context: Florida's population has been on the rise since 1946, according to census data.

  • In fact, the Census Bureau said improvements in air conditioning technology might have supported a boom in the Sunshine State's numbers, which saw a 6.1% increase on average throughout the 1950s.
  • Florida's population increased above average during that decade, too, according to the Census Bureau. And, in the 1960s, Florida's population grew at about double the national average.

The bottom line: It looks like Florida and Tampa Bay are only going to keep growing.


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