Texas and Florida ‘Largest-Gaining’ States in Terms of Population

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Texas and Florida are the “largest-gaining” states in terms of population over the past year, while blue states are experiencing declines, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data, released December 22, 2022, found that the overall U.S. population increased by 0.4 percent, per the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 national and state population estimates. Resident population was estimated to be 333,287,557 in 2022. 

According to the data, “Net international migration — the number of people moving in and out of the country — added 1,010,923 people between 2021 and 2022 and was the primary driver of growth.” In other words, migration patterns are “returning to  pre-pandemic levels,” per the report. 

The South of the U.S. was identified by the “largest-gaining” region with a 1.1 percent increase. But Texas, specifically, is identified as the largest-gaining state of the 50, adding short of half a million people, or 470,708, since summer 2021. 

Both Texas and California now stand as the only states with a population over 30 million. 

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 26: People shop in The Galleria mall during Black Friday on November 26, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Retailers are anticipating a busier holiday season than last year after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the quietest Black Friday in 20 years. Shortages of many goods due to supply issues are limiting the availability of some items including cars, appliances and computers during this holiday season. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 26: People shop in The Galleria mall during Black Friday on November 26, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Per the data:

Growth in Texas last year was fueled by gains from all three components: net domestic migration (230,961), net international migration (118,614), and natural increase (118,159).

Florida follows Texas as the second largest-gaining state, adding well over 400,000 residents following Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) battling mask mandates and coronavirus restrictions for over two years. That growth coincides with registered Republicans in Florida surpassing Democrats in terms of voter registration, currently besting them by well over 300,000. DeSantis also won his reelection bid by roughly 1.5 million votes. 

Florida is also identified as the “fastest-growing” state in the nation, increasing by 1.9 percent. That brings the Sunshine State’s population to 22,244,823. 

Per the report: 

It was also the second largest-gaining state behind Texas, with an increase of 416,754 residents. Net migration was the largest contributing component of change to Florida’s growth, adding 444,484 residents. New York had the largest annual numeric and percent population decline, decreasing by 180,341 (-0.9%). Net domestic migration (-299,557) was the largest contributing component to the state’s population decline.

The report also found 18 states seeing population declines, including Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) New York and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) blue California, both of which experienced a “six-figure” decrease.

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