Key Biscayne population grows more than 15 percent since previous Census

Having a difficult time finding a parking space these days? Do the drive-through banking lanes seem a little longer?

It’s not your imagination.

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Key Biscayne — like all of Florida and Miami — have been squeezing in more people. According to the latest 2020 Census data, there is now a record 14,809 residents on Key Biscayne, up from 12,846 in July 2019.

“It’s a jump, definitely,” said Tatyana Chiocchetti, Executive Director of the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce. “More traffic, getting on and off the island ... I definitely see the growth. I’m amazed how many people are on the island. It used to be more seasonal, but now it’s more full-time (residents).

“It’s still a fantastic place to grow up as a kid ... or as a senior, or even as an adult.”

Over the past decade, dating back to 2010 when there were 12,344 residents on the island, Key Biscayne’s population remained fairly steady, even decreasing at a rate of -0.64% annually for several of those mid-decade years.

According to Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, 329,717 new residents settled in Florida between April 2020 and April 2021. The state’s population actually grew by 2.7 million, or 14.6%, over the past decade — double the rate of overall U.S. population growth.

And they’re still flocking in. Almost 900 people a day are moving to Florida, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis told Fox Business. The website move.org reported that Florida was the No. 1 destination for relocating Americans during the pandemic in 2020.

Where are they coming from? The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently reported that at least 61,000 New Yorkers have switched to Florida license plates since 2020. Also, nearly a half-million Canadian residents spend winter in Florida, although extended non-essential travel limitations are still in place until Sept. 21.

According to the 2020 Census, Miami also has reached its highest population of 478,251, an increase of 19.73% since a decade ago, when 406,600 were recorded. There were 362,500 filling Miami in 2000.

As far as Miami-Dade County, an estimated population of 2,721,110 shows a growth rate of .08% over the past year and 8.54% over 2010, when the population was 2,506,970.

Key Biscayne is now the 2,573rd largest city in the U.S. based on the 2020 Census, growing 22.4% since 2000. The island’s previous high was 12,996 in 2017. In 1992, the first full year after incorporation, the city’s population was 8,897.

Chiocchetti said she lived on Key Biscayne for 30 years before selling her apartment and moving to nearby Brickell.

“Now I think I have even a greater appreciation for Key Biscayne,” she said. “(When I lived here) I used to work downtown, so now it’s the opposite. But I ride my bike here every weekend. It’s the same beautiful place.”

She hasn’t seen longer lines in the grocery store, but she said traffic often has to be rerouted on holidays and weekends when a capacity is reached at Bill Baggs State Park.

The Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce provides newcomers with welcome bags that include maps, promotional items and the Island Life magazine among the goodies.

“Member Realtors let us know when they have a sale or rental,” Chiocchetti said. “We usually supply them all with five or six bags to start. We’ve been giving away a lot lately.”

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