(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Florida population increase has been well documented, there’s a rush of people moving to Florida. People are leaving areas like New York and flocking to the sunshine state. Just two weeks ago, a Georgia couple moved into my neighborhood in Estero. There’s constant building all over Fort Myers, too. But it’s not all of Florida people are moving to. There are some definite hot spots. Axios reports that between April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022 “the fastest growing county in Florida was Sumter County, where part of The Villages is located, jumping more than 11%.” Locally, we’re seeing it as well. The change in population from 2020-2022 in Collier County was 5.5%. The latest population estimate from 2022 for Collier County was 397,994.

Lee County saw a big jump as well. From April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022 Lee County grew 7.4% up to 822,453. Charlotte County grew 7.8% during that time period. Up to 202,661 people. Moving just up the coast, Sarasota County has a population increase of 6%. The latest survey has them at 462,286.

But the Florida population growth isn’t statewide. Nine Florida counties actually lost population in the April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022 time frame. Axios states “The biggest drop, by percentage, happened in Lafayette County, which lost 5.2% of its population during that time” Realistically, though, Lafayette County only has 7,786 people so the drop was only 428 people. There’s much bigger counties on this list.

And a note, I didn’t arbitrarily pick those dates. This is US Census data that was released March 2023.  Here’s the Florida counties that have lost population.



  • Calhoun County -1.7%

    West of Tallahassee.

    2020 population 13,703 down to 13,464 in 2022.

  • Liberty County -2.6%

    Already the least populated county in the state, it continues to decline. It’s also a dry county, so………

    2020 population of 7,805 down to 7,603 in 2022.

  • Taylor County -2.1%

    In the Big Bend region of the state. 

    The 2020 census showed a population of 21,739 down to 21,283 on the 2022 census.

  • Lafayette County -5.2%

    The second least populous county in the state. Lafayette County is a prohibition or partially dry county, allowing retail sales of beer. So, the two least populated counties in Florida are the ones that don’t sell alcohol. Interesting…….

    2020 population of 8,214 down to a 2022 population of 7,786.

  • Hamilton County -3.8%

    People have been leaving Hamilton County for awhile now. As of the 2020 census, the population was 13,733, down from 14,799 at the 2010 census. In 2022 it’s down even further: 13,217. 

  • Baker County -1.1%

    The Western end of the Jacksonville metro.

    In 2020, 28,115 called Baker County home. In 2022 it was 27,803.

  • Bradford County -3.2%

    Bradford County is a known for its hunting and fishing, hiking, camping and other outdoor recreation.

    In 2020, there were 28,224 residents. In 2022 that number was down to 27,313

  • All of those counties are in the Northern end of Florida are are relatively small. The final two are located at the bottom of the state and are much larger. 


  • Monroe County -1.4%

    Monroe County is most famously known for the Florida Keys. But why are people leaving?

    2020 population 82,852 compared to the 2022 census number of 81,708.

  • Miami-Dade County -0.8%

    For as bad as the traffic is in Miami, you’d never guess that they are less people there than just a few years ago.

    2020 population of 2,695,501 vs. the 2022 census reading of 2,673,837.

  • Source

    Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties in Florida: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022 (CO-EST2022-POP-12)
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
    Release Date: March 2023


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