Demographics of Florida

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Florida population density map
Florida's metropolitan areas and major cities.

Florida is the fourth-most populous state in the United States. With a population of 18.8 million according to the 2010 census, Florida is the most populous state in the Southeastern United States, and the second-most populous state in the South behind Texas. Within the United States, it contains the highest percentage of people over 65 (17.3%), and the 8th fewest people under 18 (21.9%).[1]

Its residents include people from a wide variety of ethnic, racial, national and religious backgrounds. The state has attracted immigrants, particularly from Latin America.[2]

Florida's majority ethnic group are European Americans, with approximately 65% of the population identifying as White. National ethnic communities in the state include Cubans, who migrated en masse following the revolution in mid-century. They have been joined by other immigrants from Latin America, and Spanish is spoken by more than 20% of the state's population, with high usage especially in the Miami-Dade County area.

Racial makeup[edit]

Demographics of Florida (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 82.45% 15.66% 0.75% 2.11% 0.16%
2000 (Hispanic only) 15.94% 0.74% 0.14% 0.09% 0.03%
2005 (total population) 81.47% 16.31% 0.84% 2.52% 0.18%
2005 (Hispanic only) 18.48% 0.87% 0.21% 0.11% 0.04%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 9.99% 15.93% 23.95% 33.09% 29.08%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 5.43% 15.23% 15.67% 32.55% 24.49%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 28.99% 29.93% 58.98% 45.89% 45.66%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

According to the 2005 census, the racial distributions are as follows; 60.1% White, 17% African American (includes Afro-Caribbeans), 2.1% Asian American, 1.4% others (American Indians). The remaining 20% are Hispanics or Latino (of any ethnicity or national origin). Florida has one of the largest African-American populations in the country, and has the second-highest Latino population on the East Coast outside of New York state. Its ethnic Asian population has grown rapidly since the late 1990s; the majority are ethnic Chinese, Filipinos and Vietnamese who settled in the Gulf Coast. The state has a some federally recognized American Indian tribes, like the Seminoles in the southeastern part of the state.[citation needed]

Florida's Hispanic population includes large communities of Cuban Americans in Miami (mainly refugees and their descendants from communist Cuba) and Tampa, Puerto Ricans in Tampa and Orlando, and Central American and Mexicans in inland West-Central and South Florida, such as the Lake Okeechobee area. The Hispanic community has become increasingly affluent and mobile: between the years of 2000 and 2004, Lee County in Southwest Florida, which is largely suburban in character, had the fastest Hispanic population growth rate of any county in the United States. Florida's diverse Hispanic population includes significant populations of Colombians, Dominicans, and Nicaraguans.[citation needed]

Among non-Hispanic White Floridians are descendants of families who settled here in the 19th century, as the region began to be developed for agriculture and cotton. Some native white Floridians, especially those who have descended from long-time Florida families, affectionately refer to themselves as "Florida crackers," while others consider that a derogatory term akin to "redneck." As in other Deep South states settled largely in the 19th century, many have British Isles ancestry: Scots-Irish, English and Welsh. Some also have French and Spanish ancestry related to colonial settlers prior to United States settlement and rule.[citation needed]

Non-Hispanic blacks live throughout the state, and the population is increasing, based both on a reverse migration from the North and immigration from the Caribbean. More than half of the non-Hispanic blacks are of African American descent. The remainder are largely West Indians and Haitians, descended from different colonial slavery traditions and longer histories of freedom after emancipation. African Americans live primarily in the metro areas of Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and throughout North Florida. A large West Indian/Haitian community is located in the Miami metropolitan area, with other populations in Orlando and Tampa. Florida has the largest population of Haitian Americans and the second-largest population of Jamaican Americans in the United States.[citation needed]

Languages[edit]

Top Languages in Florida
Language Percent of
population
(2010)[3]
English 73.36%
Spanish 19.54%
French Creole 1.84%
French 0.60%
Portuguese 0.50%
German 0.42%
Tagalog,
Vietnamese,
Italian (tied)
0.31%
Arabic 0.22%
Chinese 0.20%
Russian 0.18%
Polish 0.14%

As of 2010, 73.36% of Florida residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 19.54% spoke Spanish, 1.84% French Creole (mostly Haitian Creole), 0.60% French and 0.50% Portuguese. In total, 26.64% of Florida's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.[3]

Florida's public education system identified more than 200 first languages other than English spoken in the homes of students.[4] In 1990, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) settled a class action lawsuit against the state Florida Department of Education with a consent decree that required educators to be trained in teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).[5]

Article II, Section 9, of the Florida Constitution provides that "English is the official language of the State of Florida." This provision was adopted in 1988 by a vote following an Initiative Petition.

Many immigrants in Florida have come directly from countries in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Others are descendants of generations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Examples are Asian Latin Americans, such as Chinese Cubans, Korean Argentinians, and Japanese Brazilians, whose first or second language may be Latin American Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese. Asian Caribbeans include Indo-Caribbean Americans, Chinese Jamaicans, Indo-Surinamese, Indo-Martiniquais, and Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians, who may speak languages such as Trinidadian English or Caribbean Hindustani or Caribbean and Surinamese Dutch or Caribbean French, and/or French Creole or Dutch Creole.

Native Americans have worked to maintain their indigenous languages, including Muscogee and Mikasuki.

Accents and dialects[edit]

Due to its diversity, a wide variety of different regional accents of English are spoken in Florida. The most common American English accents spoken, besides General American English, are identified along the east and west coasts of Florida.

The New York City area dialect (including New York Latino English and North New Jersey English) and various types of New England English can mostly be heard in Florida's eastern coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, especially along the Gold Coast and South Florida. The residents of the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, by contrast, have had more of an Inland Northern American English, carried by migrants from the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. In Central Florida all of these accents are heard.

A Miami accent has developed among persons born and/or raised in and around Miami-Dade County and a few other parts of South Florida.[6] It is more prominent among Hispanics (especially Cuban Americans and other Latino groups, influenced by the Spanish language).[7][8]

In Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area, New York Latino English is more prevalent. This area has been settled by generations of Stateside Puerto Ricans (Nuyoricans), Dominican Americans, Colombian Americans, and other Hispanic Americans who have migrated in large numbers from the New York metropolitan area in large numbers.

In the Florida Panhandle, North Florida, the Florida Heartland, some parts of the Florida Keys, and rural areas of Florida, residents speak a Southern American English dialect. Self-proclaimed Florida crackers tend to speak a Florida Cracker English variety of Southern American English. Those living close to the borders of Alabama and Georgia are more likely to speak with a Southern drawl.

Many West Indian Americans tend to speak Caribbean English. Their accents are found mostly in South Florida and the Florida Keys, but can also be widely heard in Tampa Bay and Central Florida, as well as some parts of Southwest Florida. Multi-generational Caribbean Americans sometimes speak it with relatives and others who share their ancestry. Some African Americans throughout all regions of Florida speak African American Vernacular English influenced by the South or Northeastern dialects, depending where in the US they or their parents grew up. Some African Americans may have speech patterns influenced by Black Seminole or Gullah heritage.

Religion[edit]

Florida residents identify as mostly of various Protestant groups. Roman Catholics make up the single largest denomination in the state. Florida residents' current religious affiliations are shown in the table below:[9]

Veterans[edit]

There were 1.6 million veterans in Florida in 2010, representing 15% of the total population.[10] This is the second highest total in the United States.[11]

Migration[edit]

In 2013, most net migrants come from 1) New York, 2) New Jersey, 3) Pennsylvania, and 4) the Midwestern United States. Emigration is higher to these same states. For example, about 50,000 moved to New York; but more than 50,000 persons moved from New York to Florida.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael B. Sauter; Douglas A. McIntyre (2011-05-10). "The States With The Oldest And Youngest Residents". wallst.com. 
  2. ^ State Population Facts - Florida
  3. ^ a b "Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ MacDonald, Victoria M. (April 2004). "The Status of English Language Learners in Florida: Trends and Prospects" (PDF). Education Policy Research Unit, Arizona State University. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ "League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) et al. vs. State Board of Education et al. Consent Decree". United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. August 14, 1990. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ "'Miami Accent' Takes Speakers By Surprise". Articles - Sun-Sentinel.com. June 13, 2004. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Miami Accents: Why Locals Embrace That Heavy "L" Or Not". WLRN-TV and WLRN-FM. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Miami Accents: How 'Miamah' Turned Into A Different Sort Of Twang". WLRN-TV & WLRN-FM. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ U.S. Religion Map and Religious Populations - U.S. Religious Landscape Study - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
  10. ^ Moody, R. Norman (November 11, 2010). "Service a way of life for one Navy family". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Fishkind, Hank (March 15, 2014). "Harsh winters make Florida attractive for visitors, moves". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 4A. Retrieved March 28, 2014.