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Top 20 of 2020
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 9, 202006:00 AM EST

2020 & beyond: As Duval’s 1 millionth resident arrives, we take a look ahead

With almost 35 people a day joining the county, growth was a major factor in the past decade — and will continue to shape the next.

By my calculation, Duval County could welcome its 1 millionth resident just before midnight June 8, 2021.

That’s derived from a basic calculation based on a state estimate that Duval County’s population will reach 1,044,727 in 2025, up from an estimate of 981,852 in 2020.

That’s almost 35 people a day joining Jacksonville.

The five-county metro area population is predicted to grow even more.

That’s just the next five years. The pace continues the five years after.

That presents opportunities for Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties. 

Those new neighbors need jobs; houses, condos and apartments; cars and other transportation; food; schools; and fun stuff to do – maybe even Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer’s wish that Downtown restaurants would remain open until at least 9 p.m.

The Jacksonville Daily Record and the Jacksonville Record & Observer present this special business section to help you prepare for the 2020s.

We debated calling it the Roaring ‘20s, harkening back a century, but decided that a recession could negate that meaning.

And you realize how the 1920s ended, right? 1929? The Depression?

The 2020 economy remains in good shape, having recovered from the Great Recession of 2007-09. There’s wariness about another downturn, but no prediction of when it might emerge or how severe it could be.

We look back in this section and better yet, ahead. We offer a review of the biggest stories of the 2010s, the largest issues that shape our area, predictions, the people to watch who will make change, and visionaries who look toward what’s next.

We didn’t focus on some important issues, and that’s because they permeate the national economy, not just Northeast Florida.

These are a given: Technology will change everything, as you will read throughout the section. Climate resiliency challenges the world. There are communities that suffer from the lack of economic opportunity. Politics and elections will generate disruption.

Arts and culture are economic drivers. The military is solid as a rock. 

Just like my calculation of our millionth resident, we aren’t scientific.

Our team combined our 150 collective years in journalism, primarily in Jacksonville, to present your “Top 20 of 2020.”

To celebrate the decade, let’s plan on meeting for a bite the evening of June 8, 2021, preferably somewhere Downtown, after 9 p.m.


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