New York held off fast-growing Florida to keep its third-place rank among the most populous U.S. states in 2013.
Only 98,000 residents separated New York and Florida in population in 2013, according to the latest U.S. Census data released Monday. New York posted 19.65 million residents to Florida’s 19.55 million.
But sunny Florida, with its retirees and snow birds, is growing much faster than New York. Florida gained more than 232,000 people this past year while New York grew by only 75,000. In 2012, New York outranked Florida by 255,000 residents.
Many demographers expect Florida's population to surpass New York's if not this year, then next.
“It’s going to happen,” Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College and a census expert, recently told The New York Times.
California and Texas remained first and second, with the largest populations at 38 million and 26 million, respectively.
Only two states — Maine and West Virginia — lost some population. Maine dropped nearly 200 residents out of 1.3 million in 2013. West Virginia, with a population of 1.85 million, lost nearly 2,400 in the last year, according to the Census data.