Orlando is the fastest-growing of the country’s 30 largest regions, according to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The region added more than 60,000 net new residents in the twelve months ending July 1, 2015 (166 per day), growing total population by 2.6 percent to 2,387,138. The numbers come just a week after revised labor market data confirmed Orlando’s status as America’s No. 1 employment center for job growth in 2015.
Formerly the 26th most populous region in the United States, Orlando now places 24th. The Villages in neighboring Sumter County is again the nation’s fast-growing region of all 381 regions in the country but has a much smaller population base of just 120,000.
All four counties within the Orlando region – Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole – recorded above-average growth in 2015. Osceola and Lake both placed on the list of the nation’s 50 fastest-growing counties, at 18th and 40th respectively.
Osceola saw the greatest population increase in the region in percentage terms. Almost four times as large, Orange County accounted for the greatest absolute gain at 31,631, or 52 percent of all net new residents in the region. Orange County added more residents than any other county in Florida.
Since 2010, when the region resumed significant population growth, Orlando has added a net gain of 252,733 residents. More than 40 percent of that growth can be attributed to domesitc migration, with another 34 percent due to international migration, and 24 percent from natural increase. Net migration may broadly be considered an indicator of economic health as people move to where the jobs are.