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Two counties in the region lead the way nationally in population growth

Polk and Lee counties crack the top 10 on list of 1,800 counties nationwide with most new residents.

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  • | 6:20 p.m. April 28, 2022
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More than 1,800 counties nationwide posted population increases in 2021. Of those, two counties on the west coast of Florida — Polk and Lee — ranked among the top 10 nationally in welcoming new residents.

Polk and Lee ranked No. 7 and No. 9 nationwide, respectively, in the number of residents gained in 2021, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Those counties gained a combined 47,584 new residents.

Multiple Florida metro areas also reported considerable population growth by percentage, relative to the rest of the country To wit: four of the top 10 metro areas with the highest percent change in population growth were in Florida.

Although it didn’t rank in the top 10 in percentage growth, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region saw the highest numeric growth of all Florida metro areas, the analysis shows. The region gained 36,129 residents in 2021, according to the data, ranking No. 7 nationally in new people.

Nationwide, 63% of metro areas reported a positive net domestic migration. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater saw the third-highest gains nationwide, behind only Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington.


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