Florida’s Hispanic population to grow more rapidly than that of state
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s Hispanic population will significantly outpace the state’s non-Hispanic white and black populations over the next 25 years, largely because of migration and high birth rates among this relatively young group of migrants, according to the latest projections from the University of Florida.
Hispanics, which made up about 17 percent of Florida’s population in 2000 according to U.S. Census figures, are projected to account for about 23 percent in 2030, said Stan Smith, director of UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. By comparison, the share of the state’s population of non-Hispanic nonwhites – which includes blacks, Asians and American Indians – is expected to rise from 17 to 19 percent, Smith said. And although their total numbers will continue to grow, non-Hispanic whites are expected to decline as a proportion of the state’s population during the same time period, from 66 percent to 59 percent, he said.
“Florida will continue to experience strong growth as it as in the past three decades, but the Hispanic population will grow much more rapidly than the state’s total population,” he said.
In sheer numbers, Miami-Dade County will experience the largest increase, where the number of Hispanics is projected to increase by nearly 900,000, followed by Broward, Orange, Hillsborough and Palm Beach counties, Smith said. Hispanics are drawn to these larger counties, where more jobs are available and greater numbers of Hispanics already live, he said.
Percentage-wise, however, some of Florida’s smaller counties will experience the greatest changes as proportions of their total populations. These include Osceola, Flagler and Lake counties, which are expected to grow by 281 percent, 257 percent and 217 percent respectively, between 2000 and 2030, he said.
Smith said that in Florida Cubans’ share of the Hispanic population is declining dramatically. “Twenty years ago they made up more than half of the state’s Hispanics,” he said. “Now it’s down to 31 percent.” Other Hispanics in Florida include residents from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, he said.
This is the first year the bureau has released projections for Hispanics. “There has been more and more demand for data on Hispanics,” said Smith, noting that such information is used by businesses, schools and political parties.
- Stan Smith