Census data reveals big population increases for Gulf Coast metro areas.
Recently released U.S. Census Bureau data confirms that the Tampa Bay area is one of the fastest-growing U.S. metro areas in terms of population.
Evaluating individual counties by population growth between 2017 and 2018, the bureau reports that Hillsborough County ranks 10th nationwide. Some 26,773 people moved to Hillsborough during that span of time, increasing the county’s population from 1,410,115 to 1,436,888, a rise of 1.8%.
Analysts also compared rapidly growing counties’ current populations to their populations in 2010, the last time a comprehensive census was taken. Hillsborough’s 2010 population was 1,229,178 — more than 207,000 less than 2018. That difference represents nearly a 17% increase in population.
When census officials looked at 2017-18 population growth by metro area instead of county, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region cracked the top 10, coming in at No. 9. More than 51,000 people moved to the Tampa Bay area between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, according to the data. That bumped the region’s population up from 3,091,225 to 3,142,663 — an increase of 1.6%.
But when you compare that with Tampa Bay’s 2010 population, the difference is staggering. Nine years ago, the metro area boasted 2,783,462 inhabitants, meaning its population has jumped by 13%.
Lakeland-Winter Haven also shows up in the rankings. In terms of 2017-18 population growth by percentage, that metro area ranks No. 4. Its population grew from 685,830 to 708,009, a 3.2% leap.