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UF: Florida population soars in century’s first decade, but rate is slowing

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida was again one of the country’s leaders in population growth in the last decade, but the growth rates over the past few years have been among the lowest in the state’s history, according to a new study by the University of Florida.

Florida’s permanent resident population increased by more than 2.8 million between 2000 and 2010 — an increase of 17.6 percent to 18,801,310. That mark was the third-largest numeric increase and the eighth-largest percentage increase in the country. However, the growth rate lagged behind previous periods for the state, and projections are the growth rate will steadily decline through 2040.

“Growth rates varied considerably during the decade, not only from county to county but also from year to year,” said Stan Smith, director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at UF’s Warrington College of Business Administration.

“Fueled by an expanding economy and a booming housing market, population increases from 2003 to 2006 were among the largest in Florida’s history,” he said. “As economic growth slowed and the housing market cooled later in the decade, population growth declined as well, reaching its lowest levels in more than 60 years.”

In the decades from 1970 to 2010, Florida saw annual population increases that averaged between 280,000 and 320,000. The projected annual growth is 252,000 for 2010 to 2020 and 255,000 for 2020 to 2030. The projection drops considerably for 2030 to 2040 with an annual growth of 220,000.

Smith said the slow economic recovery and a dismal job market have hampered population growth.

“Jobs are a major reason people come to Florida,” Smith said. “But Florida lost about 1 million jobs from 2007 to 2010. As the economy recovers, population growth will increase as well.”

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UF: Florida population soars in century’s first decade, but rate is slowing - UF News - June 13, 2011

Special Note:

"Projections of Florida Population by County, 2010-2040," Florida Population Studies, Volume 44, Bulletin 159, June 2011 produced by the UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research is now available for order in the Population section of BEBR Products at

More on this topic:

Florida's growth at its lowest in 60 years, UF study finds - Gainesville Sun - June 13, 2011

Population growth slows in Florida, UF says - Herald-Tribune - June 13, 2011

UF study: Florida growth to continue lagging - Westport News - June 13, 2011

Economic Troubles Put Brakes on Florida's Population Growth - WMFE 90.7 FM - June 13, 2011

Florida Morning (Blog): Still Growing - Florida Times Union - June 14, 2011

Population will grow again in a few years, aiding economy, UF study says - Palm Beach Post - June 14, 2011

Florida population growth slows with economy, pick up coming - - June 17, 2011

Raising the debt limit with Economist David Denslow

June 1, 2011 - President Barack Obama met with Republican leaders earlier today to discuss a potential increase in the U-S debt ceiling. This comes just one day after the House of Representatives defeated its own bill that would’ve allowed the nation to increase its borrowing ability. Republicans are offering no signs that today’s meeting with the president produced any real progress toward a deal. With an August deadline approaching, the government must decide whether it’ll increase its borrowing authority or go into default. Florida’s 89.1 WUFT-FM’s Joe Lancos spoke with University of Florida Economist, Dave Denslow, about why the country may eventually need to raise its debt ceiling.

Listen to the interview:

Raising the debt limit with Economist David Denslow - WUFT FM 89.1 - June 1, 2011

UF: Florida’s Consumer Sentiment stays level for first time in months

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians remained at 68 in May, ending three consecutive months of decline, according to a new University of Florida survey.

“While the overall Consumer Sentiment Index has declined steadily over the last several months and remained flat this month, there has been some uncharacteristic volatility in the individual components,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “Of particular interest are the changes in perceptions of personal finances. This month, there was a decline in perceptions of personal finances now compared to a year ago, while expectations of personal finances increased from a record low in the release last month. We attribute most of these changes to fallout from the Florida budget.”

Although April brought some positive signs of recovery, McCarty said the economic environment is still mixed. Unemployment dropped to 10.8 percent — the lowest in Florida since 2009 — but the rate is still one of the highest in the country. Median housing prices rose to $132,700, but McCarty said prices could decline as a backlog of foreclosures moves through the courts. Gas prices have declined the past two weeks, but should rise again with the summer travel season approaching.

“Looking ahead, Florida is once again at a crossroads,” McCarty said. “It is critical that he job situation in Florida continues to improve. Although there have been gains associated with a recovery in tourism, there are several thousand layoffs looming in the public sector and associated industries. These will likely show up in the unemployment rate for July or August. This will likely keep Consumer Sentiment at relatively low levels in the upper 60s.”

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UF: Florida’s Consumer Sentiment stays level for first time in months - University of Florida News - May 31, 2011

More on this topic:

Florida Consumer Sentiment flat in May - South Florida Business Journal - May 31, 2011

Fla. Consumer Sentiment holds steady; US index dips - - May 31, 2011

Florida Consumer Sentiment holds steady in May - Sun Sentinel - May 31, 2011

Consumers stay glum in Florida - Miami Herald - June 1, 2011

State Budget Sinks Florida Consumer Sentiment, UF Says - Sunshine State News - June 1, 2011

Low Consumer Sentiment level in Florida - News Channel 5, West Palm Beach - June 2, 2011

Nation's aging population booms

The 55- to 64-year-old population in some fast-growing suburban counties around cities such as Denver and Atlanta more than doubled from 2000 to 2010, according to 2010 Census data out today.

The surge in older residents is in three distinct clusters, according to demographic profiles released so far on 37 states and the District of Columbia:

•Boomer magnets. Americans who flocked to thriving areas for jobs and cheaper housing when they were in their 40s now are well into their 50s or even early 60s.

•Exodus of young people. Counties in the Midwest and New England are showing the largest increases in median age (half younger, half older). Many are in economically depressed areas that offer few job opportunities for the young, prompting them to leave after graduation and raise their kids elsewhere.

•Retirement spots. Counties in states that offer mild weather, recreation, natural beauty or a low cost of living have lured retirees and pushed up the median age.

Florida still has the highest share of people over 65 (17%), but the median age dropped in the state's Pasco and Hernando counties. "Those were both previously … substantially retirement counties," says Stanley Smith, of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. "It's a surprising decline due to a spillover effect. They've become suburban counties (of St. Petersburg)."

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Nation's aging population booms - USA Today - May 19, 2011

Legislature produced few direct jobs this session

TALLAHASSEE — When state lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott talk about their priorities, creating jobs in Florida always ranks at the top. But by the end of the 2011 legislative session last week, state leaders could point to little in the mountain of bills passed that will provide immediate help for Florida's struggling economy.

Lawmakers passed sweeping reforms on issues ranging from health care to education and state pensions. They passed bills restricting abortion, promoting gun rights, rewriting election laws and reforming the state Supreme Court.

But when it came to creating jobs, state leaders cited vague concepts like government deregulation and tax incentives as top achievements, though economists say they will do almost nothing to get Floridians back to work over the next year.

And with nearly $4 billion in cuts to the state budget, many lawmakers say the net effect of the 2011 session on Florida's economy will be a negative one, at least initially.

Thousands of teachers, health workers and government employees at all levels will be laid off as the largest budget cut in state history takes affect.


Haridopolos said the federal stimulus program “did not work,” but University of Florida economist David Denslow said infrastructure spending is one of the few proven short-term job creators at the state's disposal.

“It creates jobs in the short run and the long run because businesses benefit from the improved infrastructure,” he said.

On the other hand, deregulation and tax cuts — while potentially beneficial in the long run, if done properly — will have almost no short-term benefits, Denslow said.

“The reason people aren't starting new businesses is not so much a matter of regulation and red tape but because the demand, the customers, just aren't there,” Denslow said.

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Legislature produced few direct jobs this session - Gainesville Sun - May 8, 2011

New census numbers show Palm Beach County's 85-plus crowd grows 41%

Taking a break from his poolside card game at the Century Village retirement community near West Palm Beach, 87-year-old Lou Hazan tried to offer some insights into the modern octogenarian lifestyle while the other players razzed him. "Sometimes it's a little hard trying to find a woman that's about 20 years younger than me," said Hazan, a widower who moved to South Florida about 15 years ago. Born before talking movies or transatlantic flight or Herbert Hoover's presidency, Hazan and others in the 85-and-older crowd are one of the fastest growing segments of Palm Beach County's population, according to a new batch of 2010 Census data that breaks down Florida's population by age.

The new figures show Palm Beach County now has Florida's largest number of people who are 85 and older -- 49,205. Ten years ago those bragging rights belonged to Miami-Dade County. Although Palm Beach County's overall population grew 16.7 percent between 2000 and 2010, its 85-plus population grew 40.7 percent. Palm Beach County now has 99,849 people who are 80 and older - nearly the same number as the city of West Palm Beach has residents.

The number of older seniors has soared, but seniors as a whole are a declining portion of Palm Beach County's population. The number of county residents who are 65 and older grew 8.8 percent between 2000 and 2010, a slower rate of growth than the countywide average. Seniors are now 21.6 percent of the county population, down from 23.2 percent in 2000 and 24.3 percent in 1990.

Advances in medicine and overall health, meanwhile, mean that Palm Beach County and other places can expect to see growing numbers of the so-called "old elderly," said Stan Smith, director of University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

"It's the old elderly that are the fastest growing segment of the population," Smith said. "Certainly that has a lot of social and probably fiscal implications."

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New census numbers show Palm Beach County's 85-plus crowd grows 41% - Palm Beach Post - May 5, 2011

Women gaining ground as dominant demographic

THE VILLAGES — She is around 67.8 years of age, and the numbers of her demographic the past 10 years grew proportionally faster in The Villages than those of her male counterpart. Meet Heide Eide and her fun Village of Largo friends and neighbors — Jane Gracan, Carmela D’Aloisio and Susan Sarlo — the face of The Villages, newly released 2010 census data suggests. At age 67, Eide fits perfectly into the median age bracket for women in The Villages Census Designated Place, the U.S. Census Bureau announced this morning in an embargoed information release.

The data released this morning appears fairly consistent with Florida’s population estimates, said Stefan Rayer, Ph.D., a demographer at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. “You would expect the median to go up, because of the aging of the population and the retiring of the baby boomers,” Rayer said. Florida’s median age was 40.7, the newly released Census data showed. It was 38.8 in the 2000 census.

“Median is just a snapshot,” Rayer cautioned. “You could have a growing proportion of younger and older and still get an increasing median age.”

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Women gaining ground as dominant demographic - The Villages Daily Sun - May 5, 2011

Florida's population getting older, but state isn't graying without company

Florida's population — already among the oldest in the country — is getting even older, but the rest of the nation is not too far behind.

New census data shows Florida's median population was 40.7 in 2010, two years older than in 2000. The increase reflects both the state's continuing allure for retirees, and the aging of the nation's largest generation: the baby boomers.

The statewide trends were mirrored locally in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties, with one city breaking the mold. Venice — one of the oldest cities in the nation — actually got a little younger.

Since the early 1950s, Florida has been a retirement destination for large portions of the Northeast and Midwest, making its median age higher than the rest of the nation as a whole.

Florida's median age — the point at which half the population is older and half younger — is about 4 years above the national median. And Florida has a higher population of people older than 65, said Stefan Rayer, demographer with the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida.

"On both of those measures, Florida is one of the oldest states and that's, to a large extent, obviously, because it attracts a lot of retirees," Rayer said.

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Florida's population getting older, but state isn't graying without company - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - May 5, 2011

Floridians’ Consumer Sentiment falls for third straight month

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians dropped for a third consecutive month — falling to 68 in April — as the economy struggles because of domestic budget woes, soaring gas prices and international unrest, according to a new University of Florida survey.

Four of the index’s five components decreased, including perceptions of personal financial situation expected a year from now, which fell 11 points to 69, a record low. That’s the largest single-month decline in that component since July 1990, when tensions in the Middle East and an oncoming recession led to a similar decline.

The speculation, said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, was that the sharp decrease was created by “seniors who are increasingly hearing deficit-reduction plans that include Medicare, and low-income households who at the state level are anticipating cuts to Medicaid and other programs.” But a closer look at the survey results indicates the decline in confidence is more widespread.

“A further examination of the data shows that the component declined across all categories and dropped 17 points among respondents under age 60,” McCarty said. “It appears that the public is beginning to understand that budget cuts at the state level and deficit reduction at the national level will likely affect everyone in the U.S., young and old, rich and poor.”

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Floridians’ Consumer Sentiment falls for third straight month - University of Florida News - April 26, 2011

More on this topic:

Gas prices hurt Consumer Sentiment in Florida - Miami Herald - April 26, 2011

Gloom spreads in Florida as gas prices rise and budget cuts near - Miami Herald - Business - April 26, 2011

Consumer Sentiment in Florida falls again - Orlando Sentinel - April 26, 2011

Floridians' confidence falls for third month - Sarasota Herald Tribune - April 26, 2011

Economic confidence lacking in Florida - Daytona Beach News-Journal - April 27, 2011

Consumer Sentiment falls - Gulf Coast Business Review - April 27, 2011

Florida’s Consumer Sentiment wanes as events unravel overseas

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians dropped four points in March to 72 as many economic indicators for Florida continue to show signs of weakness, according to a new University of Florida survey.

Three of the index components decreased as natural disasters and political turmoil overseas offset the index’s seven-point spike in January.

“There has been a lot of news in March for consumers to process,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

“The unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has been both inspirational and unnerving. The deteriorating circumstances in Libya have been of enormous concern both due to U.S. involvement and the effect on oil production. The earthquake in Japan raises questions about the stability of Japanese products, companies with a base in Japan, as well as reflection on the safety of our own nuclear-based power grid.”

McCarty also said gas prices, which had already been on their way up prior to these events, are likely to continue rising due to potential shortages from Libya, offline refineries in Japan, increased demand from China and India and seasonal increases as the summer approaches.

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Florida’s Consumer Sentiment wanes as events unravel overseas - University of Florida News - March 29, 2011

More on this topic:

Gas prices, turmoil weigh on Floridians - South Florida Business Journal - March 29, 2011

Consumer mood sours amid global turmoil - Miami Herald - March 29, 2011

Consumer Sentiment in Florida, nation drops sharply - St. Petersburg Times - March 29, 2011

Consumer Sentiment drops across state, nation - Gainesville Sun - March 29, 2011

After two months of feeling better, consumers in Florida sour a bit - March 29, 2011