Senior Citizens — Their Place in Florida’s Past, Present, and Future

Publication Date: 
Saturday, June 6, 2015
  • Lynne Holt
  • David Colburn

Bob Graham Center for Public Service

Like migratory sandhill cranes, retirees have flocked to Florida since World War II in search of warmer winters and a better place to nest. The absence of a state income tax and the burden of higher taxes back home attracted many seniors, most of whom live on fixed incomes. Pleased with their initial visits, many subsequently announced to friends and family that they were relocating permanently to the Sunshine state. Their relocation decisions prompted many others to follow. So began the mass exodus of retirees to Florida in 1946.

Where Florida’s retirees constituted only 6.9 percent of the state’s 1.9 million people in 1940, or approximately 133,000 people, the numbers soared after the War, vaulting the state into first place for the highest percentage of seniors (65 years and older) at 18.7  percent  and in  second  place for  the highest total number of seniors (after California). The state song, Stephen Foster’s “Suwannee River,” more popularly known as “Old Folks at Home”….Read More

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Photo courtesy Nancy Rieg Realty,

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