of 2005, Florida has an estimated population of 17,789,864, which is
an increase of 404,434, or 2.3%, from the prior year and an increase
of 1,807,040, or 11.3%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural
increase since the last census of 246,058 people (that is 1,115,565
births minus 869,507 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of
1,585,704 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United
States resulted in a net increase of 528,085 people, and migration
within the country produced a net increase of 1,057,619 people.
Race and ancestry
16% of Florida's population was Hispanic. The largest reported
ancestries in the 2000 Census were German (11.8%), Irish (10.3%),
English (9.2%), American (8%) and Italian (6.3%).
Americans and/or Blacks, who during the cotton and sugar plantation
era of the legalized slavery days, and during the post-Civil War
reconstruction era, made up fully 50% of the state's population, have
a large presence in northern Florida and in the cities of
Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Fort Lauderdale. In addition, there is
a large Haitian-descended population in Miami.
large and diverse Hispanic community consists particularly of Cubans
in Miami and Tampa; large Puerto Rican populations are present in
Tampa and Orlando; and Central American migrant workers are largely
present in inland West-Central and South Florida. The Hispanic
community continues to grow more affluent and mobile: between the
years of 2000 and 2004, Lee County in southwest Florida, a largely
suburban jurisdiction, had the fastest Hispanic population growth rate
of any county in the United States.
of all ethnicities are present in all areas of the state.
Particularly, those of British ancestry are present in large numbers
in the coastal cities; there is a large German population in Southwest
Florida; a sizeable and historic Italian community is present in the
Miami area; and white Floridians of longer-present generations are
largely present in the culturally southern areas of inland and
northern Florida. Native white Floridians, especially those who have
descended from long-time Florida families, are affectionately referred
to as "Florida Crackers."
of 2000, 76.9% of Florida residents age 5 and older speak English at
home and 16.5% speak Spanish. French is the third most spoken language
at 2.2%, followed by German at 0.6% and Italian at 0.4%.
II, Section 9 of the Florida Constitution provides that "English
is the official language of the State of Florida." This was
adopted in 1988 by a vote following an Initiative Petition.
is mostly Protestant, with a growing Roman Catholic community due to
immigration. There is also a sizable Jewish community in some parts of
Florida which makes Florida unique among Southern states because no
other Southern state has a large Jewish community. Florida's current
religious affiliations are shown in the table below:
Baptist – 19%
Methodist – 6%
Episcopal – 3%
Lutheran – 3%
Jewish – 4%