‘Boomtown:’ Central Florida population growth continues to explode

News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth focuses on Orlando-area expansion

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida is the fastest-growing state in the country with more than a thousand people moving here every single day.

A lot of those people are settling in Central Florida, but while that rapid growth boosts the economy, it also poses a number of challenges.

News 6 started “Boomtown” a few years ago, a series that takes an in-depth look at the population growth of Central Florida and the wide-ranging impacts that growth has on our communities.

Last year, Florida brought in 315,000 new residents – a 2% population jump in just a year – but the things that draw people to the Sunshine State are the very things challenged by our rapid growth.

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“Growth is a double-edged sword,” St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell said. “But I’d much rather be in a city that’s growing than a city that’s stagnant.”

Growing responsibly will be up to our local leaders like Blackwell. His city is booming in population and it’s top of mind for folks who live there.

“A lot of construction, new homes, new buildings, which I understand,” Michelle Martorell said. “But there’s not enough infrastructure to support that.”

Find all of our Boomtown reports on YouTube:

“It would be nice if you have the income to provide for that infrastructure, but it’s growth that provides the ability to be able to provide that infrastructure,” Blackwell said. “I don’t know of any city that can provide all of the roads and fire stations and all the things you’d like until the growth comes.”

It’s a balancing act not unique to St. Cloud as more than 1,000 people move to the Central Florida region every week.

That’s why News 6 wanted to renew our focus on Boomtown. We’ll have stories twice a week looking at these growing pains and how they’re being addressed.

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About the Author:

Justin Warmoth joined News 6 in 2013 and is now a morning news anchor.