Florida Will Soon Overtake New York as Third Largest State

Demographers expect Florida to have a larger population soon

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New York, once the largest state in the Union, will soon fall to fourth-largest, demographers predict.

Florida, with growing population hubs in Jacksonville, Miami-Dade County and Tampa, will likely overtake or come close to the northeast state in the Census Bureau data to be released Monday, the New York Times reports. If not Monday, experts say it will happen sometime next year.

An influx of immigrants — and about 50,000 retiring New Yorkers a year — have boosted Florida’s population to soon become the third largest state, behind California and Texas. In July 2012, the date of the last census, Florida had 19.3 million, just below New York’s 19.6 million people.

New York is still growing, but at a slower pace — about 1 percent annually — than Florida, which grew at a rate of 2.7 between 2010 and 2012. And most of the growth in New York is happening in New York City, as upstate regions see a drop in population.