ALBANY — What’s Florida got that New York doesn’t? More people, for starters.

Florida, whose population reached 19.9 million last summer, overtook New York to become the third-largest state in the United States, according to a new Census Bureau report.

“You could see this coming,” said Jan Vink of Cornell University’s Program on Applied Demographics.

The new figures continue a trend that has been going on since the 1990s, with New York gaining population at a far lower rate than Florida and other states.

“Florida has been getting people from the rest of the country for all but two years since 2000,” said the Census Bureau’s Ben Bolender. “New York has been losing people to other areas of the U.S.”

The report is the latest blow to New York, which was knocked out of its perch as the second-most-populous state by Texas in 1994.

After the 2010 census, New York was stripped of two House seats while Florida gained two.

Florida, according to the Census Bureau report, grew by an estimated 293,000 people between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014.

New York, by comparison, grew by only 51,000 during the same period, pushing its population to 19.7 million. Much of the increase, according to Bolender, was fueled by international immigration.

California, according to the Census Bureau, remained the nation’s most populous state, with 38.8 million people, and Texas remained in second place at 26.96 million people.

“The good news is that we are not Illinois, which is in fifth place,” joked E.J. McMahon of the conservative Empire Center for Public Policy.

McMahon said Florida’s overtaking of New York has less to do with the Sunshine State’s warmer climate and more to do with the high cost of living and lack of job opportunities in New York.

“It takes a lot to live here,” McMahon said.

A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo declined to comment on the report.

The Census Bureau report found that North Dakota was the nation’s fastest-growing state, with a population increase of 2.2%.

© 2014 New York Daily News


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