Experts say virus will cause a slowdown in Florida’s growth

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida is still going to be gaining residents over the next several years, but that growth will slow down because of the new coronavirus, according to population estimates released by state demographers this month.

The state Demographic Estimating Conference last week said that it was reducing its population projection for 2025 by more than 200,000 people because of the impacts of the virus.

By April 1, 2025, Florida will have 22.9 million residents, up from this year’s current estimate of 21.5 million residents, according to the revised estimate.

“The world-wide pandemic and its accompanying economic fallout has strongly colored this forecast, producing slower population growth throughout the near-term forecast,” the Demographic Estimating Conference said in a report.

The demographers also said household size would increase, as relatives move in with each other during economically difficult times. That would lead to fewer households in Florida.

The demographers said that as deaths outpace births, Florida’s growth rate will dip below 1% annually by the end of the decade for the first time since the economic recession a dozen years ago.