Lee County, Florida has a spot on the map as one of the fastest-growing places in the nation, recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates show.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida, metro area – which includes all of Lee County – saw a 3.3 percent population increase between 2014 and 2015, tying with both Midland and Odessa, Texas, for third-largest increase in the U.S.
Lee County saw 22,749 new residents between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015 – growing to 701,982 people.
Three other Southwest Florida metros are also among the top 20
• Punta Gorda (2.8 percent)
• North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (2.7 percent)
• Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island (2.6 percent)
More than an eighth of the growth from migration in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area came from outside the United States, and the rest came from domestic migration.
Dr. Chris Westley, associate director of FGCU’s Regional Economic Research Institute, told The News-Press that the growth has been in the works for a long time, and said that Cape Coral experienced much of that growth this past year.
There are a variety of large-scale development projects in the works for 2016 to accommodate the growth, including new condos, shops and offices in downtown Fort Myers, as well as a $10 million convention center in Cape Coral. You can read more about the plans here.
For more information on Lee County demographics, click here.
You can also check out Business Insider’s list of the 17 fastest-growing cities in America to see how other metros rank.