TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — More than 213,000 babies were born in Florida in 2021, according to preliminary data from the Florida Department of Health. The same data set from the health department showed almost 265,000 people died in the same year.

Between births and deaths, Florida’s population had a net loss of 51,358 residents. The year 2021 was the second of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the state health department reports that about 64,000 people have died from the virus since March 2020.

Based on the CDC’s COVID data, roughly 15% of all of Florida’s deaths in 2021 were due to COVID-19.

As of Jan. 1, 2021, 23,712 people had died of COVID-19 in Florida. On Dec. 31, 2021, that total had grown to 62,863. Just over 39,000 Floridians died from the coronavirus in 2021, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a state of over 21 million people, the deaths of 264,523 people may not seem like a big drop in the bucket. The 39,151 COVID-19 deaths may seem even smaller, compared to the state overall.

Some parts of Florida had more newborns than others. In Hillsborough County, there were 19,240 babies born, and almost 6,700 at Tampa General Hospital alone. The Florida county with the most births in 2021 was Miami-Dade, with 25,767 births reported.

Across the Tampa Bay area, here’s where babies were born, by county, according to FDOH.

County Number of Births
Citrus 662
Hardee 4
Hernando 1,871
Highlands 992
Hillsborough 19,240
Manatee 2,315
Pasco 3,130
Pinellas 8,468
Polk 15,277
Sarasota 4,330
(Source: FLPublicHealth.com)

While the birth to death negative growth in Florida’s population was more than 50,000, the state population was offset by immigration. More than 220,000 U.S. residents moved to Florida in 2021. Almost 40,000 moved to the state from outside of the U.S., according to Census data.

Taken together, the state population grew. While the U.S. birth rate declined during the pandemic, Florida’s number of newborns actually increased from 2020 to 2021. In 2020, the state had 209,878 new births. In 2021, that number rose to 213,165. With new arrivals almost matching the number of deaths overall, Florida’s total population outpaced its death rate.



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