Census says Florida officially surpasses New York to become 3rd most populous state

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ORLANDO, Florida — It's official: Florida has surpassed New York in population to become the third-most populous state in the union.

Figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Florida has at least 19.9 million residents. The number is likely higher because the Census uses the population as of July 1 to create its estimate.

New York had 19.7 million residents.

Florida added almost 300,000 new residents from 2013 to 2014, or a little more than 800 new residents a day. By contrast, New York grew by only 51,000 over that time period.

Florida likely reached the milestone sometime last spring, but it wasn't official until the Census said so.

An Associated Press analysis earlier this year showed that ex-New Yorkers represented about 1 in 10 new Florida residents. Migrants from other countries made up about a quarter of Florida's new residents.

Florida has a way to go before it catches up with California and Texas, the largest and second-largest states. California has 38.8 million residents; Texas has 27 million residents.

The other states rounding out the 10 largest in the nation are: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan. North Carolina slipped by Michigan for the ninth spot on the list.

Six states saw population declines: Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont.

Fueled by an energy boom, North Dakota was the fastest-growing state in the nation, even though it is still the fourth least-populous state in the union. Its population increased 2.2 percent and now stands at 739,000. The other fastest-growing states from 2013 to 2014 were Nevada and Texas, which both had population increases of 1.7 percent.

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