Friday, May 24

Port St. Lucie metro fourth-largest growth in U.S.

Port St. Lucie’s metro area had the fourth-largest growth in one year in the nation, and among four Florida metropolitan regions in the top five, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The metro area, which includes St. Lucie and Martin Counties, grew 3% or 16,028, to 536,091 from July 1 to July 1, 2023. The previous year Port St. Lucie metro was eighth, growing 3.3%, according to data released Thursday.

The city of Port St. Lucie has the vast majority of the population with 231,790 in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Fort Pierce is at 48,305 and Stuart at 18,253.

Broken down by county, St. Lucie was listed at 373,586 in 2023 and Martin at 163,315.

The fastest-growing metro area in the nation was the retirement area of Wildwood-The Villages with 4.7% at 151,565.

The other Florida metros in the top five: Lakeland-Winter Haven second with 3.8% at 818,330 and Ocala with 3.4% at 409,959.

The non-Florida area is Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina third with 3.7% at 397,478.

Florida, which is the third most populous state with a population of 22,610,726, has three major metro areas that added nearly 150,000 residents from 2022 to 2023: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (54,916 to 2,817,933); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (51,622 to 2,817,933); and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (43,387 to 6,183,199). These are fourth, fifth and 10th largest numeric gaining metro areas nationwide, respectively.

Specifically Palm Beach County is at 1,533,801, up from 1,519,867 in a year; Broward at 1,962,531 from 1,946,889 and Miami-Dade, the most populous county in the state 2,686,867 from 2,673,056.

In other counties, Indian River’s population is 169,715, up from 167,267 in a year, and Okeechobee at 41,427 from 40,373. Those counties are their own statistical regions.

There also is a combined region that includes Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, Treasure Coast and Okeechobee of a population of 6,949,522 in the official 2020 census.

“The population growth in Floridas metro areas underscores a larger trend of widespread population growth across the South, the nations fastest-growing region and site of all of the top 10 fastest-growing U.S. metro areas from 2022 to 2023,” the Census Bureau wrote. “The growth continued a pattern already clear the previous year when eight of the 10 fastest-growing metro areas were in the South.”

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, had the biggest increase at 152,598 followed by Houston-Pasadena-The Woodlands at 139,789. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell in Georgia added 68,585.

Approximately 60% (1,876) of U.S. counties gained population from 2022 to 2023.

“More U.S. counties experienced population gains than losses in 2023, as counties in the South saw faster growth and more Northeast and Midwest counties had population losses turn to gains, according to the U.S. Census Bureaus Vintage 2023 estimates of population and components of change released today.

The three most populous regions: New York-Newark-Jersey City (19,498,249); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (12,799,100); and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin (9,262,825).

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