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Southwest Florida Population Shifting

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Friday, August 8th, 2008 at 1:37pm.

While growth has slowed somewhat for parts of the region, the numbers released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau for 2007 shows the areas population is not only still growing, but also diversifying in both age and race. In fact, Lee County, which includes Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero and Ft. Myers, had the fastest growth rate in the state.

Lee County saw a decrease in its population's median age from 45.2 in 2000 to 42.4 in 2007. Residents between the age of 25 and 34 grew almost 65% during the period while residents age 65 and older fell to only 22% of the overall population. Minority residents also grew substantially over the last seven years, with the largest increases coming from the Hispanic and Asian populations (141% & 114%).

Collier County, including Naples, saw its median age increase to 44 in 2007 from 43.5 in 2006, but was still below the 44.1 of 2000. Collier was also one of nine counties in Florida that made the nationwide top 25 list of counties with the most residents age 65 and older (25.2% of its population, ranked 23rd). Its minority residents also grew, but at a slower pace than Lee's. The Hispanic and Asian populations again led the way in Collier county with growth rates of 63% and 100% respectively.

Census Bureau demographer Greg Harper said "the slowdown in Southwest Florida's growth rate is on par with the rest of the state." The report showed that the growth in overall population for the state has slowed dramatically in the last two years. In 2005, 270,000 people moved into Florida. The number dropped to 170,000 in 2006 and to only 35,300 in 2007. However, you have to take the year over year numbers with a grain of salt. They are just estimates and thus are subject to a range of error. Like everywhere else in the country, the economy is playing a major role in this slowdown in growth. And, most pundits think this will be a short term scenario. With 76 million baby boomers on the verge of retiring in the very near future, how many do you think will look to Florida with a gleam in their eye?

The Census Bureau estimates that if just 5% choose to spend their golden years here, the population would increase by 3.8 million new residents in short order. The Census Bureau data also estimates that Florida should rank third in terms of population by 2010 and boast 28.6 million residents by 2030. Considering these forecasted numbers, the outlook for increased population growth looks as sunny as can be for the Sunshine state.

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5 Responses to "Southwest Florida Population Shifting"

Carrie T wrote:
It is interesting to see that even though there is a big hype from everyone saying that the housing market is down we can look at the census and see that the population is still rising. That would have to mean that homes are still selling. It is important to get the facts from a good source.

Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2008 at 4:16pm.

James Boyer Harding NJ wrote:
It is a good thing to have the median age coming down a bit. That tends to help diversity and adds to the tolerance levels. This has been happening in my town for the past 5 or 6 years as well. We had a large build up of the town in the 1960's -early 1980's and most of the people liked the area so much they stayed here until they could not manage their homes any more. Now, as the original owners are finally moving on, many neighborhoods are seeing children move in for the first time in 10 or more years.

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 at 7:48pm.

Sam in Austin wrote:
After the current tropical storm dumps even more rain on Florida, I am wondering if more people will consider leaving the state. That happend a few years ago after Florida got blasted with multiple nasty storms.

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 2:55pm.

Benjamin wrote:
The one thing I've learned over the years here in Florida is that in both good housing times and bad, the lure of warm winter weather and the sun, water and sand trump almost everything else. For instance, most folks think the current Florida housing situation is terrible, especially if their reading the national press.

Realty is another thing all together. Yes, we like other areas are having our problems with the banks being paralyzed in making decisions on foreclosures and short sales. But, the rest of our market is humming right along quite nicely. We saw no slow down in activity after the season ended in April, sales are up across the board and buyers continue to show strong interest in taking advantage of the many good buys we currently have available.

If the age old adage "the trend is your friend" holds true, this upcoming winter season is going to be really something for all of us here in Southwest Florida.

Posted on Sunday, August 24th, 2008 at 11:00am.

jiov wrote:
I believe that renting is more in demand than buying a house.. and i think that this happens seasonally.

Posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 8:55am.

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