Demographics of Florida

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Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201821,299,32513.3%
Sources: 1910–2010[1]
2018 Estimate[2]

Florida is the third-most populous state in the United States. Its residents include people from a wide variety of ethnic, racial, national and religious backgrounds. The state has attracted immigrants, particularly from Latin America.[3] 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.


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%).[4]

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


2010 census[edit]

According to the 2010 census, the racial distributions are as follows; 77.3% White (53.5% Non-Hispanic White), 16.9% African American (includes Afro-Caribbeans), 2.9% Asian American, and 0.5% Native American. 25.6% of the population are Hispanics or Latino (of any race). 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 Filipinos, Vietnamese, ethnic Chinese who settled in the Gulf Coast. The state has some federally recognized American Indian tribes, such as the Seminoles in the southeastern part of the state.[5]

2018 American Community Survey[edit]

Racial Makeup of Florida (2018)[2]

  White alone (74.65%)
  Black alone (16.01%)
  Native American alone (0.28%)
  Asian alone (2.79%)
  Pacific Islander alone (0.06%)
  Some other race alone (3.33%)
  Two or more races (2.88%)

Racial/Ethnic Makeup of Florida excluding Hispanics from Racial Categories (2018)[2]

  White NH (53.26%)
  Black NH (15.27%)
  Native American NH (0.19%)
  Asian NH (2.72%)
  Pacific Islander NH (0.05%)
  Other race NH (0.38%)
  Two or more races NH (2.00%)
  Hispanic Any Race (26.12%)

Racial Makeup of Hispanics in Florida (2018)[2]

  White alone (81.89%)
  Black alone (2.84%)
  Native American alone (0.33%)
  Asian alone (0.24%)
  Pacific Islander alone (0.06%)
  Other race alone (11.27%)
  Two or more races (3.36%)

According to the 2018 US Census Bureau estimates, Florida's population was 74.7% White (53.3% Non-Hispanic White), 16.0% Black or African American, 2.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American and Alaskan Native, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.3% Some Other Race, and 2.9% from two or more races.[2] The White population continues to remain the largest racial category as Hispanics in Florida primarily identify as White (81.9%) with others identifying as Some Other Race (11.3%), Multiracial (3.4%), Black (2.8%), American Indian and Alaskan Native (0.3%), Asian (0.1%), and Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (0.1%).[2] By ethnicity, 26.1% of the total population is Hispanic-Latino (of any race) and 73.9% is Non-Hispanic (of any race). If treated as a separate category, Hispanics are the largest minority group in group in Florida.[2]

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 racist term to be akin to "redneck."[citation needed] As in other Deep South states settled largely in the 19th century, the vast majority have British Isles ancestry.[6]

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]

Birth data[edit]

Note: Prior to 2016, births in the table exceed 100% because some Hispanics were counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number. Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one "Hispanic" group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of Mother
Race 2013[7] 2014[8] 2015[9] 2016[10] 2017[11] 2018[12]
White: 154,791 (71.8%) 159,035 (72.3%) 162,594 (72.5%) ... ... ...
> Non-Hispanic White 98,586 (45.7%) 100,837 (45.8%) 102,549 (45.7%) 99,344 (44.1%) 96,280 (43.1%) 95,868 (43.2%)
Black 52,959 (24.6%) 53,148 (24.1%) 53,699 (23.9%) 48,928 (21.7%) 49,428 (22.1%) 48,174 (21.7%)
Asian 7,265 (3.4%) 7,402 (3.4%) 7,603 (3.4%) 7,178 (3.2%) 7,015 (3.1%) 6,996 (3.2%)
American Indian 392 (0.2%) 406 (0.2%) 373 (0.2%) 237 (0.1%) 429 (0.2%) 413 (0.2%)
Hispanic (of any race) 59,206 (27.5%) 61,849 (28.1%) 64,078 (28.6%) 65,895 (29.3%) 67,049 (30.0%) 67,201 (30.3%)
Total Florida 215,407 (100%) 219,991 (100%) 224,269 (100%) 225,022 (100%) 223,630 (100%) 221,542 (100%)


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.[13]

Florida's public education system identified more than 200 first languages other than English spoken in the homes of students.[14] 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).[15]

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.

Top Languages in Florida
Language Percent of
English 73.36%
Spanish 19.54%
French Creole (including Haitian Creole and Antillean Creole) 1.84%
French 0.60%
Portuguese 0.50%
German 0.42%
Italian (tied)
Arabic 0.22%
Chinese 0.20%
Russian 0.18%
Polish 0.14%

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, Indian Argentinian, Korean Argentinians, and Japanese Brazilians, whose first or second language may be Latin American Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese. Asian Caribbeans include Indo-Caribbean Americans, Arab-Caribbean, Javanese Surinamese, Chinese Jamaicans, Chinese Trinidadians, Chinese Surinamese, Chinese Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese, Indo-Jamaican, Indo-Surinamese, Indo-Martiniquais, Indo-Guadeloupeans, and Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians, who may speak languages such as English (Caribbean Creole English), Caribbean Hindustani, Tamil, Chinese, Arabic, Javanese, Indonesian, Caribbean and Surinamese Dutch, French (Antillean French Creole).

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

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.[16] It is more prominent among Hispanics (especially Cuban Americans and other Latino groups, influenced by the Spanish language).[17][18]

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 from the New York metropolitan area in large numbers.

Florida ancestry map

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.


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:[19]


There were 1.6 million veterans in Florida in 2010, representing 8% of the total population.[20]


In 2013, most net migrants come from 1) New York, 2) New Jersey, 3) Pennsylvania, and 4) the Midwestern United States; emigration is higher from these same states. For example, about 50,000 moved to New York; but more than 50,000 persons moved from New York to Florida.[21]


  1. ^ Resident Population Data. "Resident Population Data – 2010 Census". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "B03002 HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE - Florida - 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. 1 July 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. ^ "State Population Facts - Florida". Archived from the original on 30 March 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
  4. ^ Michael B. Sauter; Douglas A. McIntyre (10 May 2011). "The States With The Oldest And Youngest Residents".
  5. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Florida". Census Bureau QuickFacts. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  6. ^ Burian, A. Ward (3 July 2018). The Creation of the American States. Morgan James Publishing. p. 349. ISBN 978-1-68350-910-3.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Data" (PDF). Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  14. ^ MacDonald, Victoria M. (April 2004). "The Status of English Language Learners in Florida: Trends and Prospects" (PDF). Education Policy Research Unit, Arizona State University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  15. ^ "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. 14 August 1990. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  16. ^ "'Miami Accent' Takes Speakers By Surprise". Articles - 13 June 2004. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Miami Accents: Why Locals Embrace That Heavy "L" Or Not". WLRN-TV and WLRN-FM. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Miami Accents: How 'Miamah' Turned Into A Different Sort Of Twang". WLRN-TV & WLRN-FM. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Religious Landscape Study". 11 May 2015.
  20. ^ "What each state's veteran population looks like, in 10 maps". Washington Post. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  21. ^ Fishkind, Hank (15 March 2014). "Harsh winters make Florida attractive for visitors, moves". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 4A. Retrieved 28 March 2014.