California ranks at the top of the list of most populous state in the U.S. according to U.S. Census data released Tuesday. The state hosts 38.8 million people followed by Texas with 26.8 million people.
New York dropped slightly behind Florida as the third most populous state in the nation, which came as a surprise to some. Tuesday’s figures showed that Florida surpassed the population of the Empire State by 147,070 people. Florida’s population was up 1.5 percent, from 19,600,311 to 19,893,297 as of July 1, according to USA Today. New York’s population was up 0.26 percent, from 19,695,680 to 19,746,227, however Florida ended up rounding out the year with more residents.
The Census Bureau said Florida added 803 new residents each day over the past year and grew by 293,000 over the period, while New York added 51,000 people.
Between 2010 and 2013, New York had the slowest population increase of the nation’s four largest states – California, Texas, Florida and New York. New York’s population grew 1.3 percent in four years, compared to 4.8 in Texas.
About 1.2 million people left New York to other states between 2000 and 2009, the Empire Center for New York policy discovered.
“The biggest difference is in the people who moved to Florida compared to those moving to New York,” said Jan Vink, a researcher at Cornell University in Ithaca.
Contrary to popular belief, sun-seeking seniors do not appear to be the reason behind Florida’s growth.
“Florida is kind of an icon of the 21st century in terms of the shifting population and the growing role Latin America is playing in transforming the country,” said James Johnson, a business professor at the University of North Carolina. “I think it’s going to be for the 21st century what California or New York was for the 20th century.”