Population growth in Florida is below projected census expectations and is slowing down overall.
One reason for the slower growth is a decline in birth rates. Pam Schenker with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research says this has to do with several factors.
“They’re mostly either economic or lifestyle reasons if you look at them and it’s not just in Florida this is nationwide.”
Despite slowing birth rates, Florida is still growing. Since 2015 growth has been slowing down, but the influx of Puerto Rican residents helped to keep last year’s growth closer to predicted levels. Clyde Diao, an economist with the state, explains.
“My assumption there is that the influx of Puerto Ricans occurred right after Maria. So the influx is expected to continue on, but at a much slower rate as the Puerto Rican economy continues to struggle.”
Diao says the exact number is unclear, but estimates place it between 40,000 and 50,000 people.
*Correction: Puerto Rican's are U.S. citizens and therefore, references to "Puerto Rican Immigrant" have been corrected to reflect that.