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Massive population surge headed to Lee, Manatee counties

Florida's growth train — in people, at least — shows no signs of slowing down.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. May 31, 2019
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They’ve been coming for years. And looks like they aren’t about to stop coming.

That is, people moving to Florida.

The Sunshine State, through 2018 according to new U.S. Census estimates, has 21,299,325 people. That includes 322,523 people gained last year. Of those new residents, more are from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and foreign countries (175,670) than other U.S. states (132,602), the data shows.

In a separate report, the Bureau of Economics and Business Research at the University of Florida projected the population growth in each Florida county 25 years into the future. The report uses Census and other population data and includes low, medium and high projections. (The data cited here is the medium category, which, according to the BEBR study, “is the most likely to provide accurate forecasts in most circumstances.”)

Some highlights of the BEBR report in regard to the nine counties on Florida’s west coast, from Polk to Collier, include:

• Six of nine counties are projected to grow at least 35% between now and 2045, and eight are projected to grow at least 28%;

• Hillsborough will remain the largest county in the region, nearing 2 million people by 2045;

• Lee County, projected to be the fastest growing county though 2045, will be within 30,000 people of surpassing Pinellas County as the second largest in the region;

• Three counties — Collier, Manatee and Sarasota — will surpass 500,000 people by 2045.




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