The fall 2018 population rankings from Nielsen Audio are now out, and if there is one thing that is noteworthy about the updated market rankings, it is this: Central Florida is flourishing with population growth.
Among the bigger moves seen in the new rankings is that of the Tampa-St. Petersburg radio market. It jumps to No. 18, from No. 19.
Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, in particular, are among the many places in Central Florida seeing population growth, and that is in large part to a flood of Puerto Rican residents leaving the island after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Polk County is also seeing a surge in population growth, and that has moved the Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., market up from No. 91 to No. 88.
Right above it is a market that Saga Communications just added to its roster: Gainesville-Ocala. It moves ahead of Little Rock (No. 87) to become market No. 86.
An exodus of Puerto Ricans from the U.S. commonwealth to the mainland, and to Florida more than other states, pushed Puerto Rico down to No. 17 in the new rankings. As such, San Diego is now No. 16.
Other notable moves include Charlotte, moving to No. 23 while St. Louis is now No. 24.