(by Mike Schneider, ABC News) AP – Sometime this year, Florida will surpass New York in population, becoming the nation’s third-most populous state, and sun-seeking seniors are not driving the growth.
The milestone is validation of the increasing influence of the Sunshine State as it approaches being home to 20 million residents. Once Florida passes New York, only California and Texas will have more people. …
Florida encompasses many trends in America: an aging population, a service-oriented economy with many [entry level] jobs and an ethnic diversity propelled by Hispanic growth. Like the United States, Florida is a haven for migrants and people making fresh starts, and the state’s 29 electoral votes are the nation’s most coveted given Florida is the nation’s largest swing state. …
New Floridians, such as 47-year-old Michael Richards, list a number of reasons for moving here: the weather, no state income tax, a familiarity from family vacations or being stationed in the military, job availability…and proximity to Latin America and Europe [Richards’ wife’s family is in Panama]. … The Richards moved to the Tampa area in 2011 after he retired from the military so his wife could be a quick plane-ride away from her family in Panama.
Although Florida has the nation’s largest share of residents over age 65, seniors are not propelling the recent growth from migration. They account for less than 10 percent of new residents in the last several years. Instead, more than half of the new arrivals are between 25 and 64, according to an AP analysis of data from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey. Almost two-fifths of them were under age 25.
New York isn’t shrinking in population; it’s just that Florida’s growth is outpacing it by a 3-to-1 ratio, and ex-New Yorkers are the biggest domestic source of new Floridians. More than 537,000 residents moved to Florida last year, and around a tenth of them came from New York State. As of last July, the two states were separated by about 98,000 people: New York had 19.6 million residents and Florida had 19.5 million residents, according to Census figures released earlier this week. As of today, that difference likely has been whittled down to about 20,000 people.
[The NYTimes reports: A closer look at the numbers shows that New York is not actually losing population. It has been growing at about 1 percent annually of late, but it simply cannot keep up with Florida’s rate of growth, which was about 2.7 percent between April 2010 and mid-2012, according to the Census Bureau. The shift also highlights the struggles in upstate New York, which has lost large-scale manufacturing jobs and large chunks of population, offsetting consistent gains in New York City. New York’s population is declining in upstate cities like Buffalo, which has lost more than 10 percent of its population since 2000, as well as places like Syracuse and Rochester, where population is largely stagnant.]
Immigrants from Latin America dominated the newly arrived Floridians who came from outside the United States. Immigrants represented a quarter of Florida’s new arrivals last year. The largest flow of immigrants was from the Caribbean to South Florida, particularly the Miami area, according to the AP analysis.
Although the opportunities in Florida aren’t what they were a decade ago, prospects remain. The top jobs found in disproportionately higher numbers than the rest of the nation are motorboat operators, entertainers, athletes, construction workers and real estate agents.
Florida’s mean annual wage of $41,000 is less than California’s $52,300, New York’s $53,500 or Texas’ $44,000, but some new Florida residents see benefits to working in a fluid…economy [where unlike New York and California, there is no state income tax]. ……
Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, said he believes that a large part of Florida’s appeal has to do with its pro-business, low tax approach. Florida also has no personal income tax.
The state’s economy – largely reliant on tourism and housing – is still reeling in some places from the Great Recession and needs further diversification. There have been pockets of success:
- Orlando developed a thriving computer simulation industry and is working on building a medical science community.
- Miami has aspirations to be a Latin American hub of high-tech companies.
- Palm Beach County has developed life sciences facilities, anchored by cancer and infectious disease research at the Scripps Research Institute, with the help of millions of dollars in subsidies from state and local governments.
From the Associated Press. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from ABC News. Visit the website at abcnews .com.
1. a) List the states with the 10 largest populations (and each states’ population).
b) What is the population of your state?
2. List the following from the article:
a) How many people moved to Florida last year?
b) What percent of new residents were from New York?
c) What percent of Florida’s new residents last year were immigrants?
d) From what area did the majority of immigrants come to Florida?
3. What is the age breakdown by percentage of people moving into Florida?
4. For what reasons do people move to Florida?
5. What is most likely the main reason people move out of New York state?
6. What types of jobs are disproportionately found in Florida?
7. What type of industries are being built up in various areas of Florida?
8. Some might think that people move to Florida just for the sunshine or warm weather. Ask a parent what factors they would consider if moving to a new state – climate, economy, schools, taxes, etc.
From an April 2008 City Journal article by Nicole Gelinas, written when New York’s Governor was Democrat David Paterson:
Gov. Paterson could have recited facts and figures from census reports on how New York ranked dead last, in both raw numbers and percentages, in net domestic population losses between 2000 and 2004, with nearly 183,000 residents leaving the state annually. While immigration from other countries more than made up for these losses, New York still lost some ground in its percentage of the nation’s population. The governor could also have cited numbers showing that New York’s state and local tax burden is a full one-fourth higher than the national average, and significantly higher than the burden in some of the states competing most fiercely with it for jobs and residents: Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, and most of the states in the new South. Instead, Paterson cited a number of personal friends, all former New Yorkers, who [moved because] ‘They couldn’t pay the taxes here.’
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