Florida has the 4th highest state population in the United States. The center of population of Florida is located in Polk County, in the town of Lake Wales. As of 2009, Florida's population was estimated to be 18,537,969. The state grew 128,814, or 0.7% from 2007. Using the latest population estimates, Florida is the nation's thirtieth-fastest-growing state. During Florida's peak growth year of 2005, it was the nation's fifth fastest growing state and grew at an annual rate of 2.2%.
About two-thirds of the population was born in another state, the second highest in the country.
The state had the third largest illegal immigrant population in the country in 2009. In 2010, illegal immigrants constituted an estimated 5.7% of the population. This was the sixth highest percentage of any state in the country. There were an estimated 675,000 illegal immigrants in the state in 2010.
Racial and ancestral makeup
The largest reported ancestries in the 2000 Census were English (16.9%), German (11.8%), Irish (10.3%), Italian (6.3%), French (2.8%), Polish (2.7%) and Scottish (1.8%). In the 2000 Census, 62,919 people in Florida self-identified as having "American" ancestry, most of these people are of English descent and some are of Scots-Irish descent however have families that have been in the state so long, in many cases since the colonial period, that they choose to identify simply as having "American" ancestry or do not in fact know their own ancestry.
Before the American Civil War, when slavery was legal, and during the Reconstruction era that followed, blacks made up nearly half of the state's population. Their proportion declined over the next century, as many moved north in the Great Migration while large numbers of northern whites moved to the state. Recently, the state's proportion of black residents has begun to grow again. Today, large concentrations of black residents can be found in northern Florida (notably in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola), the Tampa Bay area, the Orlando area, especially in Orlando and Sanford.
Florida's Hispanic population includes large communities of Cuban Americans in Miami and Tampa, Puerto Ricans in Orlando and Tampa, and Central American migrant workers in inland West-Central and South Florida. The Hispanic community continues to grow more affluent and mobile.
White Americans of all European backgrounds are present in all areas of the state. Those of English and Irish ancestry are present in large numbers in all the urban/suburban areas across the state. Native white Floridians, especially those who have descended from long-time Florida families, affectionately refer to themselves as "Florida crackers". Like whites in most of the other Southern states, they descend mainly from English and Scots-Irish settlers, as well as some other British settlers