Flagler Population Jumps Past 130,000

Flagler Population Jumps Past 130,000

If it feels a bit more crowded on State Road 100, Palm Coast Parkway and around the beach, it’s not your imagination.

Flagler County’s population grew by just under 4% between July 2022 and July 2023 according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage Population 2023 Estimates, to 131,439. The increase follows a trend already underway that saw the county’s population go up between 4,000 and 6,000 annually since 2020.

According to Amy Lukasik, Flagler County director of tourism, the growth is an economic driver.

“As opposed to a dying community, Flagler County has been blessed to be a growing community,” she said. “With population growth, so does the demand for consumable goods and services. This provides opportunities for the Flagler County business community to prosper.”

Flagler’s growth also mirrors changing demographics across the Sunshine State.

According to the Census Bureau report, Florida is home to four of the five fastest-growing metro areas in the nation by percentage. Led by The Villages at No. 2 and Lakeland/Winter Haven in the second spot, the list also includes Ocala in fourth and Port St. Lucie in Fifth spot.

In addition, three of the top 10 metro areas for annual numeric growth are in Florida, including the Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford area, Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach.

On average, counties in the South experienced faster growth in 2023 than in 2022, according to the Census Bureau report. Approximately 67% of the counties in the region experienced population gains in 2023, up from 59% in 2022. In Florida, 96% of the state’s 67 counties saw population increases with only three – Leon, Monroe and Pinellas – losing population.

Nationally, the number of counties with positive net domestic migration increased in all other regions except the West, where 253 counties experienced positive domestic migration in 2023, down from 275 counties in 2022. The Northeast saw the largest increase in the share of counties with positive domestic migration from 44% in 2022 to 52% in 2023. The number of southern counties with positive rates of domestic migration increased from 957 in 2022 to 1,014 in 2023, while the number of those counties in the Midwest increased from 561 to 581.

International migration also had an impact in the state, with Miami-Dade County claiming the top spot with 54,457new residents from outside the U.S., followed by Harris County, Texas with 41,665.

Lukasik said the growth in population bodes well for the county’s future economic growth.

“During that same period, the available Flagler County workforce grew by over 5%, partly as a result of population growth,” she said. “Talent/workforce is the top of mind for all businesses these days and a critical component in the recruitment of new industry to the area.”