FLORIDA'S POPULATION IN THE MID 1980s: LOOKING BACK AND AHEAD

Edward Fernald

Abstract


Florida has always been a growth state. Since the first census of the territory in 1830, population increases of less than 30 percent have occurred in only two decades, 1910-20 and 1930-40. The 1950s showed the largest percentage increase, 78 percent, although the largest numerical increase occurred in the 1970s. Following the 1970 census, demographers nationally were surprised that a state which started with a base of 5 million people in 1960 had grown at the rate of 34.7 percent. They were more surprised when the 1980 census showed that, with a base population of 6.8 million, Florida grew over 42 percent. Compared with other states during the last decade, only Nevada, Arizona, and Wyoming had larger percentage increases than Florida, and only California and Texas had larger numerical growth. Florida is the only state to rank in the top five in both percentage and absolute increase during the 1970-80 period.

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