The Bureau of Economic and Business Research Population Program, under contract with the Florida Legislature, has been making three sets of population projections (low, medium, and high) for Florida and its counties for many years. Many decisions in both the public and private sectors are based on expectations of future population change. Planning for schools, hospitals, shopping centers, housing developments, electric power plants, and many other projects is strongly influenced by expected population growth or decline.
Florida has been one of the most rapidly growing states in the United States for many years, but growth rates have fluctuated considerably from one year to the next. Most of these fluctuations were caused by changes in the number of people moving into and out of the state. In this issue of Florida Focus, we examine annual migration trends in Florida from 1980 to 2008, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The data refer solely to people moving from one state to another; they do not include foreign immigrants.
Many researchers have used time series models to construct population forecasts and prediction intervals at the national level, but few have evaluated the accuracy of their forecasts or the out-of-sample validity of their prediction intervals. Fewer still have developed models for subnational areas. In this study, we develop and evaluate six ARIMA time series models for states in the United States.
By most measures, the 2004 hurricane season was the worst in Florida’s history. Four hurricanes blasted through the state between August 13 and September 25, with Charley making landfall on the southwest coast near Punta Gorda, Frances on the southeast coast near Stuart, Ivan in the panhandle near Pensacola, and Jeanne nearly retracing the route followed by Frances. This was the first time in recorded history that four hurricanes had struck Florida in a single year. Most parts of the state were hit by at least one of the hurricanes and some were hit by two or even three.
Throughout history Florida’s population has continuously repositioned itself. At the time of the first census in 1830, Florida had only 34,730 people, concentrated primarily in the Panhandle region. By 2000, the population had grown to 15,982,824 people, and by 2005, the population estimate was 17,918,227, concentrated in the central and southern peninsula. This study will track the movement of the geographic center of Florida’s population from 1830 to 2005.
There are many "Floridas." There are the farms and small towns of north Florida, with families that have lived there for generations; the booming commercial and industrial areas of central Florida, creating new jobs and attracting young workers and their families from all over the United States; the retirement villages of southwest Florida, bringing thousands of snowbirds and retirees from northern states each year; and the enclaves of foreign-born residents in southeast Florida, bringing cultural diversity and a melting-pot ambiance to the region.
In this study, we describe an approach that can be used to estimate the demographic impact of hurricanes and other natural disasters, provide a detailed assessment of the 2004 hurricane season in Florida, compare the 2004 hurricanes with Hurricanes Andrew (1992) and Katrina (2005), and draw several conclusions regarding the likely impact of hurricanes and other natural disasters on future population growth.