The Jacksonville metro area gained 260,000 people over the past decade, according to newly released data from the 2020 census. This robust growth falls in line with broader national trends, all of which bode well for our beloved hometown.
Sun Belt Shines
Jacksonville’s growth fits into a broader trend for the state of Florida, which grew by a staggering 20% over the past decade. With the exception of Texas, no state grew faster than Florida, and those states helped drive 10.2% population growth in the South (compared to 7.4% for the entire US), the fastest of any region.
Cities Drive Growth
Jacksonville’s Urban Core population grew for the first time in six decades, reversing a steady decline from peak population in 1950. The gains were modest, to be fair, but they reflect trends taking place across the country: a new, diverse generation moving to dense metro areas finding and bringing opportunity with them. Even New York City maintained a robust population growth, despite greatly exaggerated rumors of its demise.
No Density, No Growth
More than half of all counties across the US shrunk in population. The strongest corollary between these counties? Low population density. Metro growth comes at the expense of rural populations as more people move to the city.
One Housing Thing
California, despite being the largest Sun Belt state and home of the second most populous metro area, did not share the same bounty in population growth that national trends would suggest. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the state is facing an acute housing shortage and seems incapable of building new units to sustain growth. Compare that with St. Johns County here in Florida, where developers have yet to find a plot of land they won't develop into new housing. New residents happily obliged, and the county’s population grew by 43.9%, one of the fastest rates in the country.
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