Look out, America: The one state with its own Fark tag is about to be the third most populous in the nation, knocking New York down a peg. Official population figures won't come out until Monday, but the New York Times has a story today predicting that the two states will be neck-and-neck, with just a few thousand people between them, and that if Florida doesn't pull ahead this time, it will in 2014. For reference, the most recent census estimate, released 18 months ago, had New York's population at 19.6 million, ahead of Florida's 19.3 million.
There are a handful of reasons for the all but inevitable shift, none of which bode well for the Empire State. The first is that new immigrants are increasingly gravitating to warm-weather states (including the two top dogs on the list, California and Texas). The second is that the large-scale manufacturing jobs that once powered Upstate New York are disappearing. The population is still growing, at about 1% a year, but not enough to keep up with Florida's 2.7% rate. "Every number we see, if we don't pass them this year, we're going to in the next few months," Gov. Rick Scott said. "Florida's on a roll."