The United States Census Bureau announced today that the State of New York, which had been the nation's third most populous state, has now slipped to fourth place, behind Florida. In the 12 months ending July 1, 2014, the Sunshine State gained 293,000 new inhabitants, while New York added a meager 51,000.

As a result, the official population of New York state is now 19,746,227, while Florida's population is 19,893,297. There are 147,070 more people in Florida than in New York. That's approximately the entire population of Hollywood, Florida, or a bit more than the population of Syracuse, New York—Syracuse being smaller than Hollywood, Florida.

So continues a long slide for what was once the most populous of all the United States of America. New York surpassed Virginia in the 1810s to claim its spot as No. 1, a distinction it would hold for a century and a half before falling behind California in the 1962 census estimate, then Texas in 1994.

Now even Florida—a transient appendage of the continent, whose hollow land is collapsing in on itself where it is not being steadily consumed by the rising oceans—is a more attractive place to live.

The march of history is inexorable. Virginia, New York's long-ago rival, no longer even appears in the Census Bureau's top 10. It has less than half the population of New York now. By 2016, if this year's growth rates hold, New York in turn will have less than half the population of California.

But aren't California and Texas, and even Florida, larger than New York? Yes. By population density, New York can still proudly claim to outshine its more populous rivals—as No. 7 in the country, right behind Delaware, and six slots behind No. 1 New Jersey.

Today, the sun sets at 4:32 p.m. in New York City, where the weather is 46 degrees with a foggy drizzle. In Miami, where it is 83 degrees and partly cloudy, the sun will set at 5:35.

[Image via AP]